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Fatal Bus Crash — Company Had Prior Safety Violations

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A horrific bus crash that took place in Texas this past week has investigators looking for answers. The crash was national news due to its severity. The bus was traveling between cities headed to a casino. The driver lost control of the bus and it rolled over. Eight fatalities and over 40 injuries were sustained as a result of this tragic accident. Those sustaining fatal injuries were ejected from the bus. Only five seats in the front of the bus were equipped with safety belts. Buses are not required to have seat belts, and ejection is not an uncommon occurrence in a major bus crash. The cause of the crash is under investigation and is not yet known. Although it may not have been raining at the time of the accident, the road was wet.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has noted that the bus was equipped with anti-lock brakes, but they may not have engaged in the crash. Anti-lock brakes help vehicles avoid skidding and help the driver maintain better control. This type of brake has been required on motor coaches and other large vehicles since 1998. This particular bus had anti-lock brakes installed, but it also may have had safety violations in the past.

After a devastating crash involving a commercial carrier such as this one, the NTSB will get involved in the independent investigation to find out what happened, why and whether it can be avoided in the future. Investigators have already secured the types of data we look for in our litigation investigations when commercial vehicles are involved. This includes inspection records, driver records and detailed information about the vehicle itself, such as maintenance and prior crash information, if any. They have even taken core sample of the road to try to determine such critical information as to why the bus turned over in the crash.

A report indicates that the charter bus company was ordered more than once to sideline vehicles to repair brakes and correct emergency exits. The company only has two buses and had a fairly uneventful record over the past two years in terms of crashes. However, in 2105 the company had many safety violations that involved driver hours and brake maintenance. A history of violations, including brake issues which might well have been a cause of this crash, is a serious problem. When commercial carriers fail to follow regulations and an accident happens, the liability for the deaths or injuries becomes far more difficult for the company to evade. They may well be put out of business given the severity of this crash, the loss of life and the documented prior violations.

Bus accidents often involve serious or fatal injury. Scholle Law has the expertise to investigate major accidents and to hold those responsible accountable. If you have been hurt in a bus or other accident we can evaluate your situation at no charge. Over two decades, we have helped victims and their families recover from the upheaval of an accident. We are here to help.

Posted in: Bus Accidents

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