An investigation into a fatal bus accident in Tennessee in October has shown that no one was at fault for the crash, but the organization that owns the bus could still be liable for the outcome of the wreck. The bus accident occurred when a vehicle owned by the Front Street Baptist Church suffered a mechanical malfunction while driving on Interstate 40. That tire failure caused the bus to career out of control, leading to a three-vehicle crash that killed eight people.
Official reports show that the bus’ front left tire failed, causing the bus to travel into the median and smash through a cable barrier. That bus ran into an SUV and a tractor-trailer before coming to rest on its side. Six people in the bus were killed, along with one of the SUV passengers and the driver of the big-rig truck. A whopping 14 victims also suffered injury in the collision.
An investigation showed that the front tire was damaged by a blunt-force impact. Officials say that there was no sign of a pre-existing problem that compromised the structure of the tire. Instead, they concluded that no one was to blame for the accident, instead categorizing the bus crash as a no-fault incident.
That determination may lead to closure for some, but it is possible that family members and injured victims may pursue a civil suit against the church that owned and operated the bus. That organization was charged with providing a safe vehicle for transporting members. The church could have provided additional training to the bus driver, as well, so that a tire failure could have been handled in a more appropriate fashion. Victims in such bus crashes may be entitled to financial compensation for their medical expenses or the death of a loved one, among other claims.
Source: WSOC 9, “Investigation rules fatal Tenn. bus crash as tragic accident” No author given, Apr. 28, 2014