Fatal Texas Bus Crash To Go To Grand Jury


Posted on 4th July 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A casino bus crash that killed three people and injured dozens in Texas has prompted at least 13 lawsuits so far and a criminal investigation, according to the Associated Press.


The accident took place April 11 on a highway in Irving, Texas, when a bus operated by Cardinal Coach Line Inc. was taking a group of senior citizens from Dallas to a casino in Oklahoma. The bus was driven by Loyd Rieve. He and the  bus company have been named as defendants in more than a dozen negligence lawsuits filed in Dallas and Tarrant counties, AP reported.

Rieve was cited as at fault for the fatal crash in an initial report released just days after the accident, according to AP. And now the Texas Department of Public Safety has turned its file on the case over to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, which plans to present it to a grand jury.

In the initial report, according to AP, 65-year-old Rieve told officials he might have blacked out before the accident. He lost control of the bus, which then went off the highway, hit a concrete barrier and fell on its side.

The passengers killed in the crash were Sue “Casino Sue” Taylor, the 81-year-old who organized the trip; Alice Stanley, 82; and Paula Hahn, 69.

In 1998 Rieve was driving a bus that hit and killed a Good Samaritan who was helping at an accident scene near Dallas, AP said.  A grand jury cleared Rieve of any criminal charges, but two suits were filed over the death of Chad Rosell, 22, of Minnesota.

In the suit filed by Rosell’s family, a jury found Central West Motor Stages negligent for hiring Rieve, according to AP, but didn’t award damages, finding that Rosell was at fault for the accident that killed him.


Judge Dismisses Federal Suit Over Fatal Ore. Bus Accident


Posted on 30th June 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized


A judge has thrown out a federal lawsuit stemming from the deaths of two women who were struck and killed by a bus in Portland, Ore., according to The Oregonian.


On Friday U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mosman granted a summary judgment motion filed by the transit agency TriMet and bus driver Sandi Day. The jurist found that the accident, where Day’s bus struck five pedestrians — killing two — “did not represent a violation of the plaintiff’s constitutional rights,” The Oregonian reported.

The fatal accident took place April 24, 2010, in Old Town in Portland. Day made an illegal left turn, causing the injuries and deaths.

A year later, the parents of the two women who died, as well as the three survivors, filed a federal suit charging that their rights under the 4th and 14th Constitutional amendments had been violated, according to The Oregonian.

Danielle Sale, 22, and Janee Hammel, 26, were both crushed and killed by the TriMet bus.

Day was fired and was later tried and found  guilty of six traffic violations, including four charges of careless driving, The Oregonian reported.

The parents of Sale and Hammel still have lawsuits regarding the accident pending in Multnomah County Circuit Court, the newspaper said.

Boston Tour Bus Line Shut Down For Safety Violations


Posted on 6th June 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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The U.S. Department of Transportation Thursday shut down a Boston-based tour bus company for a long laundry list of safety violations, not the least of which was operating a coach that had a 4-by-2-foot hole in its floor.

DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a press release saying it had ordered Lucky River Transportation Corp., which does business as Lucky Star, to immediately cease all operations, declaring that its vehicles and drivers pose an imminent hazard to public safety. The company transports passengers from Boston to New York City.


“There is no higher priority than safety,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. “Bus and truck companies must comply with federal safety regulations, which protect every traveler on our highways and roads.  Companies that disregard the safety rules will not be allowed to operate.”

The move is part of FMCSA’s so-called “Operation Quick Strike,” an intensified investigation of high-risk passenger carriers that began last April.  Federal investigators found that Lucky Star’s fleet of 21 motor coaches did not meet minimum safety standards because the company failed to systematically and properly inspect, repair or maintain the vehicles.

The probe also found that the owners of Lucky Star failed to monitor and ensure that its drivers complied with controlled substances and alcohol use and testing regulations: Drivers were employed before receiving negative pre-employment drug and alcohol test results as required by federal law.

In addition, drivers were not required by the company to turn in hours-of-service records or other required documentation such as driving itineraries and fuel receipts.

“Federal and state commercial vehicle inspectors and safety investigators, including the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, are focused every day on protecting the traveling public,” FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro said in a statement. “We cannot allow unsafe bus and truck companies and commercial drivers on our highways and roads to endanger innocent lives.”

This action represents the 13th cease-operations order issued by FMCSA since the April 1 deployment of more than 50 specially trained “Operation Quick Strike” safety investigators targeting high-risk passenger carriers. In the past seven weeks, FMCSA investigators have issued out-of-service orders to bus companies in the District of Columbia, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York, South Carolina and Utah.

Since the beginning of 2013, FMCSA has issued out-of-service orders to a total of 20 bus companies and eight trucking companies. The agency has also declared six commercial driver’s license holders as imminent hazards, blocking them from operating in interstate commerce.

The imminent hazard out-of-service order for Lucky Star lists so many egregious violations, it’s almost comical. Besides the hole in the floor and other safety issues, the company’s buses were constantly breaking down. Last December, three of its buses broke down on the same day, while two broke done on a single day in February.

As a result, passengers were forced to disembark on the side of the highway, where they risked being struck by traffic.




Shuttle Bus Hits Tractor-Trailer Near Atlanta Airport


Posted on 25th May 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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At least 16 people were hurt Friday when an airport shuttle bus crashed into a tractor-trailer not far from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, according to NBC News.


The shuttle bus transports travelers from several hotels north of the airport, and was on its way to Hartsfield when the accident happened.

There were 18 people on the bus when it hit the tractor-trailer, and 16 of them, including a child, were hospitalized, NBC News reported.

Six of the passengers were sent to Atlanta Medical Center, and they were in fair condition.

Another 10 passengers were transported to Grady Memorial Hospital, according to NBC News, with two in serious condition and right sustained minor injuries.

Kentucky School Bus Overturns


Posted on 10th May 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

A school bus overturned in western Kentucky Friday, with several members of a high school softball team being injury, according to the Associated Press.


The accident happened in Smithland, Ky., shortly before 5 p.m. Central Times on U.S. 60. The bus, on its way to a night-time game, was carrying the Union County High School girl’s softball team, AP reported.

The bus somehow drove off the right shoulder of the highway, veered into the other side of the road, and then rotated and rolled on its side, according to AP. Authorities said that 25 people were transported to local hospitals with non-serious injuries.

One person was airlifted for treatment, but didn’t have life-threatening injuries, AP said.


Nine Hurt Following N.J. Bus Accident


Posted on 6th May 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Nine people were injured, including seven disabled adults, Monday when when a school bus collided with a car in Franklin, N.J., according to MyCentralJersey.com.


The bus, which was carrying the disabled, was making a left turn out of the driveway of the Dungarvin School on Route 27 when it was hit by a Toyota Prius, MyCentralJersey reported.

Police gave the bus driver, 21-year-old Terrae Colter, a ticket for running a stop sign or failing to yield to a stop sign.

Seven of the disabled bus passengers, the bus driver and the Prius driver were all hospitalized.


Second Lawsuit Filed Over Fatal Texas Charter Bus Crash


Posted on 19th April 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A second passenger who was injured in a Texas bus crash that killed two people has filed suit against the bus operator, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The latest lawsuit was filed Wednesday by Patricia Markham in Tarrant County civil court, and it alleges that Cardinal Coach Line Inc. and its bus driver were negligent, the newspaper reported.


Markham just got out of a Dallas hospital where she was sent after last week’s accident, when a bus headed for a casino in Oklahoma veered across a highway in Irving, Texas, hit a concrete barriers and turned over on it side. Two passengers were killed.

On Monday passenger Charlotte Reed filed a negligence suit stemming from the accident, the Star-Telegram reported. She had three broken ribs from the crash.

Markham’s lawsuit charges that bus driver Loyd Rieve didn’t control his speed, didn’t brake and didn’t inspect the bus before driving it, according to the Star-Telegram.

The suit also claims that Cardinal Coach didn’t inspect the bus and that it hired unfit employees, as well as not installing “proper parts,” tires included, on the vehicle, the newspaper reported.


Yosemite Tour Bus Crashes, 16 Injured


Posted on 14th April 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A tour bus on its way from Yosemite National Park in California crashed on a winding mountain road Saturday night, injuring 16 people, according to the Associated Press.


The bus, which was going an an unsafe speed, went off Highway 41 not far from the south entrance to the park when the driver lost control of the vehicle, AP reported.

The accident is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol. The bus stopped when it hit a tree, and a number of passengers were thrown to the driver’s side. If the tree hadn’t stopped the bus, it would have fallen into a ravine, according to AP.

The passengers on the bus were described as in good part being elderly and Chinese from the San Francisco Bay area.

The bus driver was identified by authorities as Changefeng Liu, 49, of Fremont, Calif. He was not injured.

The tour bus was operated by Seven Happiness Tour &  Charter of Burlingame, Calif., which arranges tours for the Chinese-American community.

Texas Charter Bus Crash Kills 2, Injures 41


Posted on 11th April 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Two people were killed and 41 others were injured when a charter bus crashed Thursday morning in Irving, Texas, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.


The bus was traveling on Texas 161 at Belt Line Road when it suddenly veered right and struck a rubber barrier, the newspaper reported. It then moved to the left, going across two lanes and then hitting a concrete barrier, falling on its side. According to the Star-Telegram, one passenger said the bus may have had a tire blowout, causing the crash.

The two fatalities were passengers Paula Hahn, 69, of Fort Worth and Sue Taylor, 81, of Hurst, the newspaper said. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

Other passengers were taken to local hospitals, with four in critical condition.

The bus was on its way to the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Okla., and its passengers were mostly senior citizens, according to the Star-Telegram.

The bus was operated by Cardinal Coach Lines of Grand Prairie.

The National Safety Transportation Board is investigating the accident.




Driver Dead, 9 Students Hurt In N.M. School Bus Crash


Posted on 8th April 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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The driver was killed and at least nine children were hurt Monday morning when a school bus in New Mexico rolled over and crashed, according to the Associated Press.


Authorities investigating the crash in Vallecitos in northern New Mexico where trying to determine what caused the accident, and whether the bus driver was killed by the crash or another reason, such as him suffering a heart attack, AP reported. The man was 69.

The Mesa Vista School District bus was driving on State Road 111 in Carson National Forest when it went off the road, fell off a cliff and crashed into an embankment, according to AP.

Six injured students were transported to a hospital, while three others were treated at the scene.

The passengers on the bus included elementary, middle and high school students, AP said.