Cause of Bus Accident Still Unknown
Officials at Parkland Hospital in Dallas have confirmed that another passenger, an 82-year-old woman who was on the charter bus full of seniors that crashed on the George Bush Highway in Irving on April 11, has died from injuries she sustained in that crash. That brings the death toll for the crash to three, with 40 others injured.
Meanwhile, three lawsuits have been filed against Cardinal Coach Line Inc., the owner-operators of the bus that crashed. Passenger Charlotte Reed, 74, who broke several ribs in the accident, filed suit against the company on April 15, citing negligence. Two days later, a woman named Patricia Ruth Markham filed her own negligence suit, citing failure on the part of the driver to inspect the bus and failure to control speed as causes of the accident. The day after that, attorneys for 83-year-old Dorothy Miles, who suffered broken ribs, a lacerated liver, a fractured pelvis and head trauma, also filed suit against the bus company and the driver, 65-year-old Loyd Rieve.
They already have some help. Texas Department of Public Safety has released a preliminary report on the crash, and they have placed most of the blame on Rieve. Their preliminary investigation found no obvious mechanical defect with the bus, but said at least one contributing factor to the crash was Rieve’s failure to keep the bus in a single lane. Texas DPS investigators are still looking into whether the driver suffered from health problems or was distracted by a cell phone or other electronic device at the time of the crash.
According to a preliminary report by the Texas Department of Public Safety, the driver apparently has suggested to investigators that he may have blacked out just moments before his bus slid off the roadway and struck a concrete barrier. According to press reports, Rieve apparently suffered three broken ribs in the accident and claimed he remembered little about it.
The DPS report found no defect with the Cardinal Coach Line bus, but rather found that the accident was caused by cited Rieve’s failure to maintain his lane and his inattention while at the wheel as factors that contributed to the April 11 in Irving. The report shows Rieve was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
According to court records, this wasn’t the driver’s first accident. In 1998, while Rieve was driving for another bus company, he hit and killed a “good samaritan” who was trying help out at an accident scene on a highway just outside Dallas. He was not criminally charged in the accident, but he and his employer faced a couple of negligence suits.
At the time of the accident, the bus was taking a senior citizens group to an Oklahoma casino in . Two seniors, Alice Stanley, 83, Paula Hahn, 69, died in the accident and more than 40 others were hurt right after the crash,. A third passenger, Sue Taylor, 81, passed away Sunday.
The Texas DPS report is preliminary and more information is needed to make a final determination of what caused this fatal bus wreck. Many more answers are needed in order to know why this bus went out of control and rolled over, killing three people and injuring dozens more, and who is at fault. If you or a loved one have been injured killed in a bus accident, call the Texas Bus Accident Injury Lawyer at Hill Law Firm today for a free consultation.