By: Allan M. Siegel
One victim was killed and several others injured in a fatal collision between
a school bus and a commercial tractor-trailer in Texas this past Friday.
According to authorities, the crash took place Friday evening on Interstate
20 in Big Springs following a football game in Colorado City. Representatives
from the Iraan-Sheffield School District report the school bus was carrying
six high school cheerleaders and two cheerleader sponsors.
Officials have not yet determined the underlying cause of the crash and
are continuing investigations. At the time of the collision, the bus had
been roughly 40 miles into a 160 mile trip to Iraan, Texas and, due to
poor weather conditions, roads were wet and visibility was limited. Westbound
lanes of the interstate were also closed and traffic was being diverted,
according to the Texas Department of Public Safety – a situation
similar to a tragic
bus crash in California in October that killed 13 and injured over 30 victims.
The victim killed in the crash was a 52-year-old sponsor of the West Texas
high school cheer team. Eight other victims were injured in the wreck
and transported to nearby hospitals, including two victims listed in critical
Investigators in this particular crash will be tasked with sifting through
a range of possible causes, including common issues involving drivers’
backgrounds, operator error, alcohol, drugs, distraction, and fatigue.
For example, following a recent
fatal crash in Baltimore last month, it was discovered that the school bus driver involved did
not have a valid commercial driver’s license and had medical issues
he failed to report to regulators.
In addition to investigating drivers of the vehicles and their backgrounds,
investigators will also likely take a close look at the vehicles involved
and the companies / organizations which operated them. They will be paying
close attention to any possible mechanical issues and the history of vehicle
maintenance for signs of possible regulation violations.
Official investigations and investigations conducted by independent groups,
such as personal injury lawyers, are essential in not only determining
what caused the crash and whether it could have been prevented, but also
in aiding victims and their loved ones in the event they pursue compensation
through civil lawsuits. If it is found that negligence played a role in
the collision, responsible parties could be held liable for the damages
victims and survivors suffered.
Crashes involving buses, trucks, and commercial vehicles happen all the
time, and as we’ve seen, they can have devastating results.
Our team at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has worked with many
victims of truck and
bus accidents over the years, and we wish for the best as victims recover and begin
to better understand their legal rights.