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Truck Driver Involved in Fatal Bus Crash Admits to Driving Distracted

A tragic accident occurred in Oklahoma in late September after police said a tractor-trailer truck crossed the center median of a highway and collided with a bus, according to media reports. The accident claimed the lives of four North Central Texas College students and injured a dozen others.

buscrash

Photo credit: NTSB

While the cause of the accident remains under investigation, preliminary accident reports indicate that the driver of the truck admitted to being distracted while reaching for a drink moments before the accident occurred.

As experienced personal injury lawyers in Fort Worth know, distractions are a major factor in traffic accidents. When the operator of a truck, bus or other commercial vehicle is distracted, the consequences can be absolutely devastating.

Trucking companies and their insurance carriers typically are on the scene and investigating accidents within hours of the tragedy.  They look for any possible evidence that might minimize the responsibility of the driver or trucking company. That's why it's so important for family members who lost loved ones in accidents to retain an attorney who can protect their rights. Call experienced truck and bus accident attorney Coby Wooten now for a free consultation if you or a loved one was injured or a loved one died in an accident: 866-408-0940. Attorney Wooten has successfully handled complex cases involving tractor trailers and buses. He knows what's required to get victims and families they results they need and deserve.

Fatal accident proves that distracted driving dangers apply to all drivers

According to NBC News, the accident occurred on Sept. 26 as a group of North Central Texas College students belonging to the school's female softball team returned home from a game in Oklahoma.

While traveling southbound on Interstate 35 near Ardmore, OK, a northbound tractor-trailer crossed a "wide median" on part of a highway that had a slight curve, police said, according to reports. The tractor-trailer continued straight through the 820-foot median before crashing into the bus, killing four students and hospitalizing 11 others with non-life threatening injuries.

Accident investigators told NBC News there was no indication of skidding, braking or evasive maneuvers by the truck driver prior to the accident. Investigators also noted that an initial examination of the truck indicated the brakes were fully functional.

Sources told NBC News that the truck driver informed investigators he was reaching for a drink before the fatal accident occurred. The Washington Post reports that the truck continued to travel in a straight line another 300 feet after hitting the bus, crossing the southbound lanes of the highway and uprooting several trees.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation, according to both sources. While investigators are still attempting to download the truck's data recorder to reveal other crash details, sources indicate that the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is conducting a criminal investigation into the accident.

In typical trucking accident cases, victims and their families can level the playing field by obtaining legal counsel. It's not enough to rely on others to investigate. You will need your own attorney and accident investigators and reconstructionists at the accident site as soon as possible. You will need to get an accurate account of what happened. You will need a lawyer with the experience and resources required to hold the responsible party accountable. Coby Wooten has years of experience handling complex trucking accident cases.

Preventing highway truck accidents critical to all drivers

Truck accidents are rarely minor and often lead to catastrophic injuries to multiple vehicles. American Family Insurance recommends truck drivers adhere to the following safety tips:

  • Avoid cell phone use and other distractions
  • Pay attention to driving conditions
  • Avoid speeding
  • Always check and recheck blind spots
  • Look down the road for dangerous situations
  • Don't drive while fatigued

If truck drivers follow these essential safety tips and avoid cell phones and other distractions while behind the wheel, the risk of horrific accidents happening on our highways will be greatly reduced.

Coby L. Wooten, Attorney at Law, P.C. has experience handling truck and bus accident cases. If you were injured or a loved one was injured or killed, contact us today. Call 866-408-0940 for a free case evaluation.