Charter bus lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report of a tragic bus crash that occurred this Thursday April 11, 2013, outside Dallas, Texas, killing at least two. The bus was carrying passengers to a casino and overturned on State Highway 161.
One passenger, Dan Risik, told reporters that he suddenly found himself on top of a friend, with a woman on top of him in the aftermath of the crash. He and others around him were unable to move inside the overturned bus until help arrived, entering through the windows. Risik affirmed that the bus was on its way to Choctaw Casino Resort, which is just across the Oklahoma-Texas state line, about 90 miles from the site of the crash. Many of the passengers on board were elderly.
A spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed that there have currently been two deaths reported in connection to the crash, along with 41 injuries. The bus was heading northbound on George Bush Turnpike when it struck a rubber roadside barrier, careened across two lanes, and hit a concrete barrier on a grassy median. The sudden movement caused deep skid marks on the pavement and grass in the median, where the bus finally landed on its side.
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Several motorists pulled over in the moments after the crash, helping to pull a number of passengers from the bus before emergency response crews arrived. One motorist, Ed Cluck, described the state of the scene, saying people were screaming, clearly in much of pain. He said it was difficult to get to many of the passengers because they were trapped with other people on top of them.
The National Transportation Safety Board immediately dispatched regional investigators to the scene. Meanwhile, at least 15 people have been taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, and six more to Las Colinas Medical Center in Irving. A trauma surgeon at Parkland stated that they were treating passengers ranging from 66 to 80 years old. Four are currently in critical condition, although all were responsive upon arrival.
Texas authorities closed the George Bush highway and a nearby toll booth, also setting up a command center at a nearby bank parking lot. All fire trucks in the Irving district were sent in to help. The Cardinal Coach Lines bus was carrying 45 passengers at the time of the crash, many of whom were trapped underneath the bus.
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The incident occurred around 9 a.m. Thursday morning, and passengers are believed to last boarded in Hurst, Texas. One passenger stated she believed a blown tire was the cause of the crash. Another stated he heard a sudden crash, after which the bus started veering back and forth, eventually flipping over. Passengers said the daily gambling trip was regularly organized by a woman the group referred to as Casino Sue.
Fortunately, no other vehicles were involved in the crash. Had it not been for the concrete barrier, the bus would likely have careened into oncoming southbound traffic. The Cardinal Coach Lines charter company, based in Mansfield, Texas, has not been involved in any other crashes over the past two years.
Just about a week ago, a school bus in the Chicagoland area was involved in a similar crash, killing one. Fortunately, all 25 elementary school-aged student on the bus suffered only minor injuries. The bus flipped on its side after colliding with two vehicles. The driver of a yellow Jeep Wrangler was killed. The bus eventually came to rest on its side in a ditch next to the road. It was on its way to Newport Elementary School in Wadsworth, IL.
Bus accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm affirm that, although bus transportation is considered relatively safe, when crashes to occur they can be catastrophic. If you or a loved one was seriously hurt in a bus crash, you may be entitled to significant compensation for medical bills and lost wages through a lawsuit against the charter company, and should contact a skilled attorney as soon as possible.