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Driver in bus crash may have blacked out

A bus accident in North Texas lead to tragedy as three lives were lost in the crash. What appears to be even more troubling is how the evidence is revealing the cause of the accident. According to an initial report by the Texas Department of Public Safety, no mechanical defects or irregularities were found with the bus. Rather the crash was due in large part to the driver's inability to maintain lane position, and that he lost consciousness while behind the wheel.

The report did not indicate whether drugs or alcohol were involved, but a further investigation revealed that the driver had a prior accident with another bus company. In 1998, he struck and killed a bystander who was trying to help someone at an accident scene.

The prior records may apply in a wrongful death claim against the driver and the bus company. Essentially, the families of the people who perished in the accident could argue that the bus company was negligent in keeping a driver with a spotty record on staff, and that such negligence directly contributed to the accident that caused the deaths. In essence, the company should have known about the likelihood that the driver could have had a serious accident due to his condition. This knowledge (and lack of action) would make the company responsible for compensating the families for their losses.

The report is important because it exemplifies an important aspect of investigating bus accidents. Finding responsible parties is essential to a wrongful death claim. If you have questions about such claims, an experienced attorney can advise you.

Source: ABC News.com, Bus driver says he may have blacked out, April 22, 2013

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