Many of us have hopped on a charter bus headed to a sporting event, casino, or amusement park. However, you may not realize that some discount bus lines value profits over their passengers’ safety. A recent charter bus crash highlights this risk. Below, the motor vehicle accident lawyers at Phelan Petty discuss a series of charter bus crashes — and suggest ways you can protect yourself after a crash.
May 2011: Driver Fatigue Causes a Catastrophic Charter Bus Crash
In 2011, four women died and 50 other passengers were injured when a discount fare bus operated by Sky Express, Inc. crashed on I-95. That Sky Express bus (pictured below) was on its way from Greensboro, N.C. to Chinatown in New York.
Passengers observed that the bus driver, Kin Yiu Cheung, was struggling to stay awake for most of the trip. Cheung eventually fell asleep at the wheel and ran the bus off the interstate in Caroline County, Virginia. Cheung was convicted of four counts of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to six years in prison.
Our firm represented one of the surviving passengers. During our investigation, we learned that Sky Express had a history of forcing its drivers to drive while fatigued and that it was grossly underinsured.
March 2019: Another Virginia Charter Bus Crashes on Its Way to NYC
It’s happened again. On March 19, 2019, a discount fare bus heading from Orlando, Florida to New York City with 57 passengers on board crashed on I-95. According to at least one witness, the bus swerved and suddenly overturned. Two people died and at least two passengers have life-threatening injuries. 54 passengers, including several young children, were hospitalized due to their injuries.
The single-vehicle bus crash happened at 5:22 a.m. when the bus driver, Yui Man Chow, attempted to exit I-95 just south of Petersburg at exit 45. The Virginia State Police say that speeding played a role in the bus crash. The Tao’s Travel bus (pictured below) overturned as Chow tried to navigate the exit ramp.
Chow has been released on bond from the Riverside Regional Jail in Prince George and is facing manslaughter charges. Just as importantly, the bus company has a history of speeding violations.
Important Information for Family Members
If your family member or loved one was on the Tao’s Travel charter bus, can access information through the following resources:
- Call 800-230-6977 to get information about passengers hospitalized at Johnston Willis, Chippenham, John Randolph, Swift Creek or Tri-Cities Hospitals.
- You can also contact the Pince George County Emergency Services Center at 804-733-2659 for more information.
- A family reunification center has been set up at the Prince George County Wellness Center located at 11023 Prince George Drive, Disputanta, Virginia.
However, you should also consult with an experienced charter bus crash lawyer.
Depending on the nature of you or your loved one’s injuries, they may face a difficult physical and emotional recovery. Unfortunately, charter bus crash claims can be complicated and discount fare buses are often underinsured. To get the compensation you deserve, you’ll probably need skilled legal representation.
Phelan Petty: Experienced Bus Accident Lawyers
With a track record of successful bus and big truck accident cases, a team of nationally-recognized lawyers, and a network of experts at our disposal, Phelan Petty offers sophisticated, detail-oriented representation to victims of bus crashes.
We are aggressive but compassionate and ready to dive head-first into the most complex bus accident cases. Our investigation will be thorough. We have the experience to analyze federal highway safety data and NHTSA and Virginia State Police crash investigation evidence.
Federal authorities blamed Sky Express for the 2011 crash. Tao’s Travel will be liable for the negligence of its employee-driver, but it remains to be seen whether Tao’s Travel was actively negligent in causing this wreck.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries because of a fatigued or reckless bus driver’s negligence, please contact our firm right away for a free case evaluation by calling (804) 980-7100 or completing this brief form.
Fieldstadt, E. (2019, March 19). Driver in deadly charter bus crash in Virginia charged with manslaughter. NBC News. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/least-1-dead-multiple-injuries-virginia-charter-bus-crash-n984736
Survivor: Bus in fatal crash swerved like a ‘roller coaster” (2019, April 20). AP. Retrieved from https://www.apnews.com/a452d7d8167e4cc7bd2f4808197191b2