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On the morning of Thursday, April 11, a Cardinal Coach Line charter bus carrying almost 55 senior citizens crashed, killing 2, critically injuring 4, and injuring the rest of the passengers. The accident occurred on State Highway 161 in Irving, Texas, also known as the President George Bush Turnpike. The passengers boarded the bus in Hurst, Texas, and was headed to the Chocktaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma.
Two individuals were killed in the crash: the trip’s organizer Sue Taylor, and passenger Paula Hahn. Sue Taylor organized such outings regularly for the senior citizens in her town.
The bus driver was Loyd Rieve. He apparently hit an unknown object, causing him to veer suddenly off the right side of the road. After driving over the concrete divots on the shoulder, he lost control, traveled back across the highway, hit the concrete barrier, and flipped over. The entire front end of the bus appeared to be ripped off.
Because the Department of Transportation does not require motor coaches such as this one to have seat belts, the passengers on the bus were thrown about violently, leaving some stacked on top of each other and others trapped underneath.
Cardinal Coach Line owns five buses, employs seven drivers, and has no history of traffic accidents. They have received citations for minor safety violations such as record-keeping errors, but nothing to indicate that such a horrible accident might occur.
Driver Loyd Rieve’s history was another story. In 1998, while working for another bus company, he was behind the wheel when an accident occurred, killing a young man. A civil lawsuit followed that found Rieve responsible for 20% of the blame for the death.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will investigate the accident, the driver, and the bus company thoroughly. They say that in the past months they have already initiated a thorough safety review of motor coach safety. It says that in the past 2 months alone, they have shut down 7 carriers, conducted 13,500 roadside inspections, and pulled another 1,500 buses out of service.
But despite this increased vigilance, neither Cardinal Coach Line nor Loyd Rieve raised any red flags. The accident investigation has not yet revealed what initially distracted Rieve and resulted in the events that followed. An experienced Dallas bus wreck attorney can initiate his own investigation and uncover the missteps taken by the driver and the bus company. Was there substance abuse involved? Was the driver distracted by a cell phone? Our attorneys will find out, and will be able to hold the right parties responsible.
If you or a loved one have been injured in this or any other bus accident, the personal injury attorneys at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP can provide immediate assistance. We can help you get the medical care you need in order to get back on your feet. An accident of this severity has lasting effects, both emotionally and physically, but the insurance companies will want to convince you to settle for a minimal amount. Before you say or sign anything, contact our attorneys for a free consultation. Our attorneys will make sure that you recover the full amount of compensation that you deserve. Your case review is free, and we work on a strictly contingent fee basis. We don’t get paid unless we recover for you. Begin the process of recovery today.