A deadly bus accident in Laredo in 2016 was caused by a bus driver with a serious sleep deficit disorder who did not stay in his lane, causing the bus to go out of control, leading to a wreck that killed nine and injured 40, according to the National Transportation Safety Board this week.
The NTSB noted that the May 4, 2016, bus accident occurred when the bus left the freeway and rolled after the 29-year-old driver overcorrected for the error and braked. The freeway north of Laredo was damp from rain, and the bus’s antilock braking system did not work.
The bus started its trip in Brownsville, Texas, and was going to the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass.
Seven passengers expired at the crash scene. Another died on the way to the hospital. The ninth victim died of injuries a few days after the May 2016 crash.
Federal regulators determined that the driver had had almost no sleep in the hours before the crash. He also reportedly had blurred vision caused by hyperglycemia due to his poorly controlled diabetes. The NTSB also found the windows on the left side of the bus gave way very easily, and passengers were ejected from the vehicle. Some passengers were trapped under the bus, which rolled twice.
The bus company, OGA Charters out of San Juan, Texas, used two buses that had seven roadside inspections in three years. Six were done on the bus that was in the crash. Three inspections required the bus to be removed from service for brake problems, and two other inspections found violations related to driver logbooks.
The highway near Laredo was known to be dangerous; it had not been treated with pavement texture that reduces skidding on wet roads. This practice adds small pieces of aggregate or chips to the road surface. Four days after the fatal bus crash, the Texas Department of Transportation added a special chip sealant to the road. It seems that this repair should have been done earlier; transportation bureau data show that approximately 50 wrecks occurred on that same piece of road in the previous 60 months. Those crashes led to three deaths.
The bus company is now out of business and is facing several personal injury lawsuits. If you are hurt in any type of motor vehicle accident caused by another party’s negligence, you should consider talking to an attorney in Dallas right away.
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If you have been hurt in a bus or car accident and it is shown that the driver and/or company operating the vehicle was negligent, you may be entitled to financial compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. At Guajardo & Marks, our accident lawyers have years of experience handling bus and car accident claims in Dallas and the surrounding areas. They can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Please contact their offices now for a free consultation.