Dallas, 11/10/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/
Big Truck Wreck Lawyers of 1800 Truck Wreck state that a recent string of Greyhound crashes shows that these commercial vehicles can cause as much damage as big truck accidents.
The Texas big truck accident lawyers at 1800 Truck Wreck are reporting on a large commercial vehicle accident involving a Greyhound bus in Fort Worth that killed a passenger in an SUV, and has now resulted in a lawsuit against Greyhound.
The family of the woman who was killed in the commercial vehicle accident has filed suit against Greyhound Bus Lines and the driver for more than $1 million.
The accident occurred on Interstate 30 in Arlington.
In the early morning hours, a 2003 Ford Explorer driven by Jonathan Moore was traveling westbound on the freeway.
Torii Davis, 28, was a passenger in the SUV.
For reasons that have not been fully disclosed, Moore lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a concrete barrier that served as a carpool lane divider, separating the HOV lane from the main lanes.
Prior to the crash, witnesses described the SUV as weaving through traffic in an erratic manner.
After impact, the Ford Explorer came to a stop under the Collins Street Bridge.
Moments later, a Greyhound bus carrying 40 passengers smashed into the SUV, killing Davis and injuring Moore.
Davis died at the scene, and Moore was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries.
Sixteen passengers aboard the bus were also injured, though none of those injuries were life threatening.
Less than a week after the commercial vehicle accident, Doris Edwards – Davis’ mother – filed the lawsuit on behalf of herself and Davis’ 5-year-old daughter.
The suit contends that Larry Sampson, the driver of the Greyhound bus, “failed to operate his vehicle at a safe speed.”
Furthermore, the suit said that Sampson used “faulty evasive action at the time of the collision,” which directly led to the devastating wreck.
Sampson is also accused of failing to pay attention to traffic, and failing to properly respond to hazard signals on the road.
The suit also names Moore as a defendant, alleging that his negligence was a contributing factor to the first crash that caused the SUV to become disabled.
Moore was described as “incompetent and unfit to safely operate a motor vehicle” at the time of the accident, and that his “negligent conduct was more than momentary thoughtlessness or inadvertence, and constituted gross negligence.”
Part of the issue is that Davis was first injured in the initial crash when the SUV struck the divider, which caused her “horrible physical pain, suffering and mental anguish.”
According to language in the suit, Sampson is directly responsible for Moore’s trauma in the moments between the first accident and the second accident that caused her death.
Another Recent Greyhound Lawsuit
The legal action in the commercial bus accident is only one of several recent lawsuits filed against Greyhound Lines.
Earlier this year, a Cuyahoga County, OH jury awarded $27 million to Mark Soberay, 44 at the time of the crash, who was injured in a 2013 accident involving a Greyhound Bus.
The crash occurred early in the morning as a Greyhound bus headed for Cleveland, was traveling west on Interstate 80 in Union County in Central Pennsylvania.
The bus smashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer that was hauling garbage.
Forty passengers suffered injuries, and one passenger was killed in the accident.
The Greyhound driver – Sabrina Anderson – suffered minor injuries, but the driver of the commercial truck was not hurt.
Soberay had his right leg amputated as result of the accident.
He also endured more than 30 surgical procedures to repair a hole in his heart, and to repair muscle tears in his shoulder, and fractures in his pelvis, arm and foot.
Soberay described his healing process as “complete hell,” and added that the things that used to be simple are now extremely challenging for him in the aftermath of the accident.
In returning the verdict, the jury stated that Greyhound “demonstrated reckless indifference to the safety interest” of passengers and drivers by not establishing standard training procedures and rules for its drivers.
Soberay was awarded $23 million for pain and suffering, and another $4 million in punitive damages.
But the jury also added $150, which was not an arbitrary amount.
It was a rebuke to Greyhound for not enforcing the 150-mile rule, which lies at the heart of the accident and resulting lawsuit.
Greyhound Not Enforcing Its Own Rules
What makes this bus accident in Pennsylvania even more tragic is that it probably didn’t have to happen.
Many passengers aboard the Greyhound believe that the bus driver fell asleep behind the wheel, which resulted in the vehicle crashing into the rear of the tractor-trailer.
That was part of the reason the Pennsylvania jury found that the driver did not exercise the proper care when it came to the safety of her passengers.
At issue is the 150-mile rule, which is a rule Greyhound bus drivers are supposed to follow.
The rule requires Greyhound drivers to rest after 150 miles of driving.
That rest period can include walking, stretching, checking the bus to ensure that there are no safety issues, or just grabbing a cup of coffee and relaxing.
But internal documents acquired in a CNN special investigation related to the Pennsylvania crash found that the rule – which is known inside the company as G-40 – is rarely, if ever enforced.
An information bulletin obtained by CNN reporters read as follows:
“Remember Rule G-40 Stop approximately every 150 miles to check tires and walk around the bus for a safety stop at roadside rests. Use these stops to refresh yourself and stay completely alert by using these short-term alertness management actions.”
The bulletin goes on to suggest that drivers stretch out and enjoy fresh air with some light physical activity to keep their minds alert.
“The problem with the 150-mile rule is what you find with the hours-of-service rules governing commercial truck drivers,” stated Amy Witherite, partner of the Texas law firm Eberstein & Witherite, which also has an office in Atlanta, GA. “Greyhound officials have no real way of enforcing that rule unless they are actually on the bus. So as with commercial truck drivers, you find that many Greyhound drivers simply ignore the 150-mile rule, and report that they complied with the rule, when in fact they continued driving long past the mileage that is considered safe.”
In fact, David Leach, CEO of Greyhound, admitted in a recent deposition that the company has no way of enforcing the 150-mile rule.
Leach said that the company must rely on bus drivers to exercise good judgment, especially when they are feeling fatigued.
“I’m just saying, they’re professional motor coach operators,” Leach said in the deposition. “And so they, they do their job, well, I’m expecting our drivers to stop when they’re supposed to.”
In the Pennsylvania bus crash, accident investigators found that Anderson didn’t take a break, and that she was 178 miles into the trip at the time of the wreck.
“We’ve seen that in big truck accidents, one of the major contributing factors is driver fatigue,” Witherite added. “And it’s really no different with a commercial bus driver. These are people operating heavy, powerful machines that require the most precise safety measures to keep passengers and other motorists from danger. Fatigue is a huge problem in the trucking industry and in the commercial bus industry. Drivers feel pressured to make deliveries and to make arrival times, and as a result, they will ignore their own exhaustion because the fear of failure and the consequences, which could include termination, are more urgent for them.”
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has studied the issue of fatigue extensively, and found that motor coach drivers are more likely to experience fatigue when they are on overnight routes.
In addition, the very act of driving, which is sedentary and monotonous actually creates a greater need for sleep.
“The problem is that there’s a tremendous risk, because the driver has to stay awake when there’s a tremendous pressure biologically to sleep,” stated Deborah Hersman, former Chairwoman of the NTSB.
That’s why some major bus carriers have stopped offering overnight routes, understanding that compromising passenger and driver safety is not worth the trouble.
Do You Need a Big Truck Accident Lawyer After a Truck Accident?
Although commercial bus accidents don’t occur as frequently as big truck wrecks, they can cause the same amount of devastation to a victim’s life. Often times, when people suffer injuries in an accident caused by a commercial vehicle, they are overwhelmed by so many things that they may lose sight of the fact that they need an advocate.
If you live in Austin, Dallas, El Paso or Texarkana, and you’ve been in a big truck accident, don’t let anyone from the other side tell you that you shouldn’t obtain a lawyer. Call 1-800-Truck-Wreck and speak to a member of the team at the big truck accident law firm of Eberstein & Witherite. We have decades of experience helping people just like you secure fair compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering. Call us today, or reach us online, and we’ll be happy to contact you and offer a free evaluation.
Eberstein & Witherite, LLP
Email: [email protected]
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