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Utah Greyhound bus crash kills 13-year-old girl and injures 11

Greyhound Bus Crash in Utah kills 1, photo credit Ben Tidswell APOn Monday, January 1, 2018, a Greyhound bus careened off Interstate 70 in Emery County, Utah. The weather was clear and roads were in good condition when the bus crashed into a steep wash off the highway, killing a 13-year-old girl and injuring 11 other people.

The bus was traveling through Emery County on its way to Las Vegas when it left the highway around 11 p.m., crashed into a steep wash, and came to a stop about 200 feet from the road. A thirteen year old girl, identified as Summer Pinzon, of Azusa, California, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her mother was injured and remains hospitalized.

The bus driver and two passengers were transported by helicopter to hospitals in Grand Junction, Colorado, and Provo, Utah. Only one passenger escaped the crash uninjured. The rest of the passengers were transported by ambulance to hospitals in Provo, Price, and Richfield.

Officials investigate latest Greyhound bus crash

Utah Highway Patrol has stated that a passenger reported that the driver may have had a medical problem. They have no further details about the driver, including whether the driver suffered from a medical problem that led to the accident or whether the driver had a record of prior accidents.

Investigators removed the wreckage of the bus Monday night so that mechanical experts could examine it in the nearby city of Green River. Investigators are trying to obtain video from a camera in the bus to help determine what happened. Greyhound is conducting its own investigation into the crash and is cooperating with authorities.

Greyhound has history of crashes caused by unsafe drivers

Investigations have uncovered driver fatigue in multiple recent Greyhound crashes, including in the 2013 Pennsylvania I-80 wreck in which our client suffered catastrophic injuries. A 2016 CNN report outlined how Greyhound, despite citing safety as a priority, fails to enforce its own rule related to driver fatigue. The rule, G-40, requires drivers to stop every 150 miles, get out and walk around the bus, stretch, as well as check the tires to mitigate fatigue. CNN reviewed Greyhound’s posted routes and revealed several of them fail to enforce  this 150 mile safety stop rule.

A 2012 government study found that 37% of all passenger bus crashes – including Greyhound crashes – were due to driver fatigue. In January 2016, a fatal wreck occurred near San Jose, California. The Greyhound bus driver told a California Highway Patrol officer they were fatigued before the crash. The company failed to correct the issue of driver fatigue after the fatal wreck in 2013. While we don’t know if the cause of the January 1, 2018 wreck is due to driver fatigue, we know Greyhound has a history of failing to enforce its own safety rules. An independent investigation will help the families of the Utah crash find out why this wreck occurred.

What steps victims and families can take to get justice for the Utah Greyhound bus crash

Victims and their loved ones deserve answers in addition to justice. To get both, victims and families need to act quickly. Time is not on your side. The steps victims and families need to take include:

  1. Investigating the wreck. While the government and Greyhound have begun their investigations into the cause of this wreck, families need to investigate this wreck as well. In our experience, Greyhound’s investigation will only serve to help them avoid being held accountable for any safety failures. The government’s investigation may not conclude in time for families to file lawsuits against Greyhound. Neither investigation is being conducted in the best interests of the victims.
  2. Filing a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against Greyhound. This court order will prevent Greyhound from tampering with, removing, damaging, destroying, or throwing away any evidence related to the wreck. This not only includes the bus itself, but driver’s logs and internal company records that may help families learn the truth about why the wreck occurred.
  3. Not giving a recorded statement or signing any documents. Greyhound’s adjusters may ask you to give a recorded statement or sign a document. You are not legally required to sign anything or speak with Greyhound. A recorded statement can be used against you when you go to settle your claim. And you may unknowingly be signing away your legal rights if you sign any document. Do not speak with the company, respond to any emails, send any emails or social media messages, or sign any documents.
  4. Consulting with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will help you understand your legal rights, help you focus on getting better, and help you decide what your next steps should be. If filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against Greyhound is what you need to do to get justice, an experienced attorney can help you with that as well.

Greyhound knows that victims and families are focusing on recovering in the days following a wreck and will use that time to get a head start on finding ways to minimize or eliminate your claim. Getting help from an experienced bus accident attorney as soon as possible will mean you can focus on recovering while your legal team gets to work finding answers and protecting your claim.

To find out more about how we help Greyhound bus crash victims and their loved ones, contact us at 877-724-7800 or fill out a contact form.

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