A third passenger on the charter bus that crashed along a North Texas highway earlier this month has died. According to a spokeswoman for Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, 82-year-old Alice Stanley died Sunday. Two other women — Paula Hahn, 69, and Sue Taylor, 81 — died in the immediate aftermath of the April 11 accident in Irving. More than 40 people were injured. The bus full of senior citizens was bound for a casino in Oklahoma.
At least two lawsuits have been filed as a result of the accident involving the Cardinal Coach Line bus. Authorities have not yet determined what caused the bus to veer off the highway and strike a concrete barrier before toppling over. Special agents from the U.S. Department of Transportation have visited with Cardinal Coach Line reportedly to search records and conduct interviews.
The Cardinal Coach Line bus crashed on April 11 near the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Loyd Rieve, identified as the driver of the Cardinal Coach Line bus, was investigated in another fatal bus accident in 1998. In that incident, Mr. Rieve was driving a bus that struck a person on the side of the road who had stopped to help at an accident scene. A grand jury considered indicting him of criminally negligent homicide but ultimately declined.
On April 14, 2013, 16 people were injured when a tour bus carrying visitors from Yosemite National Park crashed after the driver lost control of the bus. The vehicle, operated by Seven Happiness Tour & Charter, swerved off of Highway 41, a winding mountain road. The bus came to a stop after striking a tree. Authorities determined that the bus was traveling at an unsafe speed when the driver lost control.
In February, a bus carrying tourists from Tijuana, Mexico, crashed while descending a mountain road after a day trip to Big Bear in Southern California. The crash killed eight passengers and injured more than 30 others.
In December 2012, a tour bus operated by Mi Joo Tour & Travel of Vancouver, British Columbia, crashed in Oregon killing nine and injuring dozens more. Authorities determined the driver of the bus was “driving at speeds too fast for the conditions and driving in a manner unsafe to existing road conditions.”
Federal safety records show that 245 bus crashes killed 276 people in 2010.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has shut down more than a dozen private bus companies — nearly half of which it deemed “imminent hazards” — over the past couple months. The agency has announced it was deploying a team of more than 50 safety investigators throughout the country to conduct a wider examination of “higher risk” carriers, including many small charter operations.
HOP and Bus Crash Lawsuits
To successfully bring a claim involving a bus crash, clients need an experienced, educated attorney on their side. They also need an attorney with the financial resources to take the case to trial. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we have tried literally hundreds of cases to verdict and have settled hundreds more.
Heygood, Orr & Pearson is AV-rated, the highest legal and ethical rating available from the leading law firm rating service. Our partners Michael Heygood, Jim Orr, and Eric Pearson are all Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Heygood and Mr. Orr are additionally Board Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our partners been voted by their peers as “Super Lawyers” in the state of Texas for several years in a row.*
Heygood, Orr & Pearson partner Eric D. Pearson represented the family of Nick Stout, a teenage boy who suffered a traumatic brain injury when the bus he was taking to church camp slammed into a concrete bridge abutment in East Texas, killing four and injuring dozens. Following a three week trial, the jury in the 14th Judicial District Court of Dallas County, Texas found in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded the Stout family more than $36 million.
If you have been seriously injured, or someone you know has been hurt or killed, in a bus crash, you may be entitled to compensation. To find out if you may have a case, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out our free online case evaluation form.
* Michael Heygood, James Craig Orr, Jr. and Eric Pearson were selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication, for the years 2003 through 2013.