When people take a charter bus, whether on an extended tour or a day trip, they’re placing their lives in the hands of a bus company and driver they may know little or nothing about. Unfortunately, one of those trips ended in tragedy last November here in Mississippi. The Teague VIP Express bus was taking a group to a Mississippi casino when it crashed on an icy section of Interstate 269 in Desoto County.
An attorney who is representing six survivors asserts that both the driver and the bus company are at fault. He says, “The driver was on her cellphone, was traveling at an excess speed for the conditions. The throttle was over 70% going through an icy bridge, and the pre-trip inspection did not reveal the tires were improperly inflated.”
He says it’s not certain that she was even able to see the road ahead of her when the bus crashed. Passengers have stated that their windows were fogged up at the time.
In addition to the driver and the bus company, the plaintiffs are also suing the casino. The plaintiffs are expected to be assigned a court date soon.
According to the attorney, it was involved in arranging the charter bus trip and should have ordered the bus to go back when the weather turned bad and warnings were issued.
The Alabama-based charter bus company, which is listed as “Out-of-Service” on a U.S. Department of Transportation site, reportedly didn’t have a required $5 million insurance policy.
The attorney says several of his clients suffered broken backs in the crash. Some have had shoulder surgery. He says that’s “just the physical. I have several clients who are really suffering emotionally from this.” According to a Huntsville, Alabama, television station (where the two people who died were from), dozens of people in all were injured.
Lawsuits involving commercial vehicle accidents can be challenging. Often, defendants try to pass the blame among each other. In some cases, the companies go out of business. Experienced legal guidance is necessary for survivors and surviving family members to seek justice and compensation.