Commercial Bus Accidents May Lead To Wrongful Death Claims

Commercial buses often carry dozens of passengers, so crashes frequently result in numerous casualties. A bus accident on a highway in Texas provides a reminder of the catastrophic potential of such wrecks. On Saturday, May 14, a bus heading for a south Texas casino crashed when the driver lost control for an unknown reason. The red charter bus rolled over, resulting in multiple broken windows and significant rear-end damage.

A spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) said the crash occurred at about 11:26 a.m. on northbound U.S. Route 83, approximately 45 miles north of Laredo. The intended destination was the Kickapoo Lucky Casino Eagle Pass, which is approximately 120 miles north of Laredo. A charter bus company based in San Juan, Texas, operated the vehicle that carried 51 passengers. All passengers either boarded the bus in Brownsville or Hidalgo City.

Multiple Fatalities and Injuries

Emergency personnel transported 23 people to Doctors Hospital in Laredo and another 15 people to the Laredo Medical Center, according to NBC News. Officials pronounced seven passengers dead at the scene. The DPS spokesperson said another passenger died at an area hospital. According to the Laredo Morning Times, the deceased ranged in age from 52 to 81.

Authorities stated a total of 44 people were taken to hospitals in the area. The bus driver was among those injured. Although many passengers were later released, 14 individuals were later transferred to either San Antonio Military Medical Center or University Hospital in San Antonio. Seven others remained at Doctors Hospital, and two individuals remained at Laredo Medical Center.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and his wife expressed their condolences to the families of those killed in a statement released the day of the crash. The Webb County sheriff also expressed his condolences.

NTSB Investigators Sent To Scene

Although it was raining at the time, authorities would not speculate as to the cause of the crash until investigators did their work. Following the deadly wreck, authorities closed Route 83 about five miles south of the Webb-Dimmit County line. On Sunday, the National Transportation Safety Board NTSB) is sending a team of investigators to the crash scene.

Other Fatal Bus Accidents In State

Over the past decade, there have been other fatal bus accidents in Texas. In January 2015, 10 people died when a prison bus hit a guard rail in west Texas near Odessa. The bus plunged about 20 feet on to a freight train passing underneath the highway. In 2008, 17 people died when a bus went off a bridge in the Sherman area. An NTSB investigation concluded the accident happened when an unknown object punctured a right front tire that was installed on the front axle illegally.

Companies that own and/or operate buses in accidents often incur liability for injuries and loss of life. Although every bus accident is unique, a crash may happen for a wide variety of reasons, including driver error, inadequate training, improper maintenance, faulty parts and other causes. Driver error may include driving too fast for conditions, distracted driving, impaired driving or fatigued driving.

In many instances, those injured, and survivors of those killed, may seek compensation in the state’s civil court system. Compensatory damages may ultimately be awarded for certain medical expenses, pain-and-suffering and lost wages. Survivors of those killed may also seek compensation for loss of companionship and burial expenses.

If a family member dies in a crash, it is possible to review the details of the case with a wrongful death lawyer. Our firm will provide such a consultation free of charge and without obligation. We fight hard to get our clients the full compensation they deserve under the law. To learn more about our legal services, please contact us.