Texas Bus Crash Could Have Been Prevented, Attorney Says
DALLAS – The attorney who helped win one of the most notable bus crash lawsuits in Texas history says a Houston bus company and one of its drivers are likely to blame for the recent deadly bus crash near the Texas-Oklahoma border that has claimed the lives of 17 passengers so far.
Attorney Mark Werbner of Dallas’ Sayles Werbner says the fact that the bus was traveling on a retread tire and the record of failed safety inspections for the owner of the bus company are proof that this recent crash could have been avoided.
“This appears to be yet another case where a company and driver failed to get the required safety inspections and did little to protect passengers,” Mr. Werbner says.
Mr. Werbner represented the family of a 15-year-old boy following a 2002 bus crash near Terrell, Texas, that killed five passengers and caused severe injuries to many others. That case, which also involved a church group, was the subject of national television coverage on Court TV and resulted in a $71 million verdict.
Iguala BusMex Inc. of Houston is the operator of the bus in the recent crash in which members of the Vietnamese Martyrs Church and two other groups from Houston were headed to an annual festival honoring the Virgin Mary.
Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board say the bus’ right front tire, which blew out, had been retreaded in violation of safety standards. It is illegal to use retread tires on wheels that steer a bus. The bus driver reportedly has a prior conviction for driving while intoxicated. The bus company itself was formed only recently after the owner was forced to shut down another bus charter company based on an unsatisfactory review by federal regulators.
“What a lot of people don’t realize is that some companies and drivers go to great lengths to get around the system so they don’t have to perform safety inspections and do the other things they’re required to do to insure that passengers are safe,” Mr. Werbner says. “I think these companies should be held accountable for their actions in order to prevent this type of tragedy from ever happening again.”