A tour bus was struck by a train after getting stuck on a crossing.
In March, tragedy struck in Biloxi, Mississippi, as a tour bus carrying 48 passengers was struck by a train, resulting in four deaths and forty injuries. Now, survivors of the crash as well as the families of the victims have filed lawsuits against the bus company, the tour company that organized the trip and the railroad. This situation highlights the risks that can be involved in taking bus tours — and the dangers of certain railroad crossings.
The problem occurred when the tour bus attempted to cross train tracks, which has a sign warning of a low ground clearance. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, three other long vehicles have gotten stuck at that very intersection in recent years — and in two of those cases, a train has crashed into the vehicle. This kind of train track crossing is known as a “hump,” as a vehicle has to go up a slight incline, cross over the tracks on a level, and then go down an incline. Vehicles that are longer than average — such as tour buses — can get stuck when their undercarriage gets caught on the “hump.” The other crashes included a January 2017 incident involving a Pepsi delivery truck, resulting in a train crashing into the truck — which occurred just two months before the tour bus crash. Another tour bus got stuck in March 2016, although nobody was hurt in that incident. In August 2014, a tractor-trailer was stuck at this same intersection, and a railroad employee was injured when a train hit the vehicle.
In this crash, the victims were coming from a senior center near Austin, Texas to go on a weeklong trip to visit casinos in Mississippi and Louisiana. According to some passengers, the bus either stalled or got stuck on the tracks. Some passengers were apparently able to get off the bus before it was hit by the train. Four passengers were killed by the collision, and forty were injured, including seven critically. According to lawsuits filed by the victims, passengers waited more than 30 minutes before being taken off the bus.
One of the questions raised by the lawsuits is why the railroad company did not do more to change the crossing, given its knowledge that long vehicles were likely to get stuck on the tracks — and that there had been a collision just two months prior to this accident. There is also a question of whether the bus company had more responsibility to prevent this accident. The bus driver may have ignored the sign warning about the low ground clearance, or they may have been unfamiliar with the area and the possibility that the bus could get stuck.
Lawsuits have been filed for the wrongful deaths of the passengers who died in the accidents, as well as the injuries sustained by the passengers in the accidents. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits have filed suit against a number of parties for negligence. This case highlights the importance of a hiring a skilled bus crash attorney who can fully investigate the facts of each case to determine the potentially responsible parties. In this case, that might include the railroad, the bus company, the bus driver, the charter bus operator, or even the town.
At the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, our attorneys are committed to helping victims of all types of accidents, including bus accidents. We have helped our clients recover more than 2 billion dollars, with a 95% success rate. Contact our office today at 800-333-0000 or email@example.com to schedule a free initial consultation. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you!