Lawsuit follows Miami airport fatal bus accident

A passenger who survived the recent deadly Miami International Airport bus accident has filed a lawsuit against the bus company. The tour bus crashed into an overpass last week at the airport. The 11-foot high bus, carrying over 30 members of a Jehovah’s Witness congregation, struck an 8-foot 6-inch overpass at Miami International.

The car accident was fatal to two passengers; an 86- and a 56-year old died in the crash. The passenger filing the lawsuit survived, but suffered serious injuries, apparently to her face, ribs, spine and spleen.

The bus driver, who told police he was lost, has not yet been charged or cited for the accident. The Miami Herald reports that the driver expressed his “deepest sympathy” to all crash victims. The driver also felt shock and emotional distress with the crash and the passenger injuries, along with the fatalities.

The plaintiff’s attorney stated his feelings that the crash was tragic and a clear case of “driver inattentiveness,” lack of qualifications, inadequate training and insufficient trip planning. The airport posts notices of overpass heights to warn drivers of potential vehicle height problems.

Commercial vehicle accidents, involving trucks and busses, often result in injuries and/or fatalities for occupants or other drivers or passengers in other autos. In this case, tour buses, which are often taller than pure passenger buses or many trucks, risk impact with lower overpass clearances.

The growing number of car and bus crashes is disturbing. In this case, the driver may be innocent of all but a mistake in judgment. However, injuries and fatalities still occur. There is no indication when the lawsuit from the injured, surviving passenger will be heard by the court.

Do you have any suggestions to help drivers avoid the dangers of low overpasses on roadways or at airports? Can passengers on commercial vehicles take any action to avoid injury or death in these situations?

Source: NBC Miami, “Lawsuit Filed in Fatal Miami International Airport Bus Crash,” Brian Hamacher, Dec. 7, 2012