Highway Patrol: Prior impact to tire caused deadly bus crash

Forensics examiners looking into a fatal church bus crash in Tennessee have announced what they believe to be the cause of the accident: a previous impact to the tire that most likely occurred within an hour of the crash.

The accident happened October 2013 when a bus blew a tire and jumped a median. The bus then collided with an SUV and smashed into a tractor-trailer.

The crash took the lives of eight people, including six members of a church, the driver of the SUV and a New Orleans man who was driving a tractor-trailer filled with paper goods.

The bus was reportedly carrying more than 16 passengers over state lines, which violates a federal mandate that requires buses with 16 or more passengers to obtain a U.S. Department of Transportation number.

Regardless, the bus accident was ruled accidental as the driver had no way of knowing the tire was faulty. Investigators believe the tire may have hit something around Gatlinburg, where there was a fair amount of construction going on around the interstate.

Was the tire worn and already defective before the blowout? The cause of the blowout is speculation. If those in charge of transportation functionality and legality neglected to uphold their federal responsibility and obtain a transportation number, what other corners might they have cut? If certain degrees of negligence can be proven, victims may be entitled to compensation for injuries, loss of wages and pain and suffering.

When situations like this happen in Louisiana, the best course of action is to find an attorney who specializes in motor vehicle accidents. Louisiana attorneys can fight on your behalf against insurance companies whose bottom line depends on paying as little as possible to those who have been victimized by a negligent driver or faulty equipment.

Source: charlotteobserver.com, “Tire in fatal bus crash failed from earlier impact, troopers say,” Mark Washburn, April 28, 2014

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