Bus Crash Suits Settled

Bus Crash Suits Settled

Nearly two-dozen lawsuits over an Omaha school bus accident that killed four have been settled with the state.

The casualties of the crash were Ben Prescott, 14; Eric Bader, 17; Ian Hoekler, 14; and Tracey Kohlmeier, 40.

The suits claimed that as a result of ongoing construction, the bridge on which the accident occurred was too narrow to accommodate two busses, which led to the accident and deaths.

The Accident

In October 2001, a Seward High School bus was on its way back from a band competition.

According to reports, as the bus crossed a bridge, the school bus driver swerved to avoid another oncoming bus. The Seward bus broke through a guardrail and fell off the bridge into the creek below.
That guardrail had been damaged and was not completely repaired at the time of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board said that the construction zone lanes were so narrow that they left no margin of error for two approaching buses.

The NHTSA also found that the driver’s unfamiliarity with the bus was a contributing cause to the accident.

The Settlements

There were 23 claims totaling $37 million filed over the bus accident.

The suit has settled each of those claims and will have paid out a total of $3.38 million by the end of this year.  

There has been another lawsuit filed over an accident on the same stretch of road, but in that case, the court found that driver negligence caused the accident, not the road conditions.

Injured in a bus accident? If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a bus accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your pain, suffering, medical expenses, missed work, and more. Please contact us today for a free consultation with a caring and experienced bus accident attorney who can answer your questions and help you plan the best course of action.

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