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Investigation of Louisiana bus crash undermines driver's story

The state police investigation of a fatal Aug. 28, 2016, bus crash that occurred on Interstate 10 contradicts the driver's claim that the brakes failed at the time of the accident. The newly released report about the crash that hurt 40 people and killed three found that the breaking system on the bus was functional before and during the crash.

In addition to confirming the operational condition of the brake systems, the accident investigator studied a dash camera video from a state trooper's vehicle that was recording when the bus plowed into the scene of an existing accident. Video footage showed that the bus crossed over the outside lane as the operator tried to steer. The bus continued on a straight course, which indicated that the brakes were activated and that the bus was skidding. Testimony from witnesses also indicated that the party bus approached the scene of the first accident at a high rate of speed.

The bus driver, a man from Honduras without documentation to be in the country, did not possess a valid driver's license. He has been indicted by a grand jury from St. John the Baptist Parish for three counts of negligent homicide and 30 counts of injuring people due to negligence. He will face trial in Edgard.

This case represents an example of negligence that could enable the surviving family of a victim to pursue damages for wrongful death. A person who lost a loved one due to a reckless driver could ask an attorney to organize the evidence for a lawsuit. Damages potentially collectible through a lawsuit could include compensation for medical bills from rescue efforts, lost income and funeral expenses.

Source: NOLA, "Fatal bus crash on I-10: Police say brakes were working and here's why," Littice Bacon-Blood, Feb. 22, 2017

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