A bus driver who had just joined a bus company within the past year was driving 65 mph to 70 mph on an icy highway, according to the Montana State Police, when he was involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident that killed two people. Thirty-two people suffered injuries from the crash.
One of the injured, a 77-year-old man, is still in the hospital as a result of injuries suffered in the accident. A lawsuit filed on his behalf alleges that the bus driver was rushing to stay on schedule. The man’s attorney stated, “He was pressured to stay on schedule, and that’s the reason he was driving 65 miles per hour on a skating rink.” The lawsuit also names the man’s wife, although she was not a passenger on the bus. The attorney said that his client had several broken bones and was in a coma after the accident.
Even though the speed limit is 75 miles per hour where the crash took place, Montana law states that drivers must slow down to a speed appropriate for the conditions of the road. The bus company took over this particular route from a large bus company. The large bus company refers to the smaller bus company as a contractor. The bus company’s owner said his company is not a direct contractor for the larger bus company, but the two companies share ticketing services.
The smaller bus company’s owner said he has not seen the lawsuit and that the accident investigation was still pending. He also stated that he was not aware of any citation or charges against the bus driver or the company. The owner said the company was “taking care of all the bills” and “taking care of all the passengers’ personal effects and replacing everything that’s broken.”
A spokesperson for the larger company did not have a comment for news sources.
Source: The Republic, “Passenger in deadly Mont. bus crash files lawsuit against Rimrock Stages, Greyhound,” Matthew Brown, Feb. 14, 2012