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Shapiro & Appleton

Tour Bus Operator Investigated After Crash Kills 4, Injures 54

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A horrific bus crash in Virginia on may 31, 2011, left four women dead and sent 54 injured people to 10 hospitals. And the accident on I-95 in Caroline County, Virginia (VA), could have serious implications for a bus driver who has been charged with reckless driving, as well for the regulation of some commercial bus companies.

Driver fatigue appears to have caused this crash after the driver ran off the side of the road, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. The driver has been charged with reckless driving.



"The bus owned by Sky Express Inc. of Charlotte, NC, left Greensboro, NC, at 10:30 p.m. Monday en route to a Chinatown stop in New York, state police said. The company has had a checkered safety record, according to federal data," the Times-Dispatch reported.

As experienced personal injury attorneys based in both Virginia and North Carolina, we are deeply saddened by this highly avoidable tragedy. Indeed one of our attorneys, Jim Lewis, was born in Caroline County, so this tragic incident has impacted him.

Although this accident is still under investigation, it has all the makings of a potential wrongful death case. The crash led the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to shut down the bus company, SkyExpress Inc., NBC Washington, has reported.

FMCSA issued an unsatisfactory rating for SkyExpress the same day the wreck occurred. The watchdog cited multiple violations in a range of issues, including drug and alcohol compliance issues, driver issues, hours of service, and vehicle maintenance problems, NBC reported. SkyExpress is listed as having almost 50 citations for fatigued drivers, including three that are categorized as serious.

Low-fare Chinatown buses have been under scrutiny by government agencies after another horror crash in March when a bus returning to New York's Chinatown slid into a pole, killing 14 people. While that bus was hit by a tractor-trailer, in this case, it appears that the operator lost control of the bus and driver fatigue, a common factor with drivers of overnight charter buses, could have been involved.

Our Virginia personal injury attorneys have reported on numerous cases in which fatigue has led to injury and death on the roads.

DM


Richard N. Shapiro
Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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