On February 22nd, a tractor-trailer collided into a tour bus that was parked on the side of Interstate 70, according to The Kansas City Star. The bus had pulled over onto the westbound shoulder of I-70 following a flat tire in Blue Springs, Missouri. While its occupants were on route to Overland Park from St. Louis, all 10 were taken to the hospital following the collision.
Tractor-Trailer Semi Truck Swerves Into Tour Bus at 10:45 a.m.
The truck veered from its lane of traffic and side-swept the parked tour bus at 10:45 in the morning, shearing the tour bus wide open on its right side. Luckily, no one was killed on impact. However, two of the 10 occupants were seriously injured.
Gum Supposedly the Cause of the Crash
The driver of the tractor-trailer, who was not injured, told authorities that he had begun to choke on a piece of gum, reached for water, and had lost control in that moment. He was cited with careless and imprudent driving, which is a minor offense and will likely only result in a four point loss on the driver’s license.
Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence
Emergency crews cut the right half of the bus off to access five of the occupants trapped inside. While all 10 occupants (including nine passengers and the bus driver) were taken to the Centerpoint Medical Center hospital, only two were seriously injured. One victim was in critical condition and the other in serious condition by that afternoon.
Collisions With Tractor-Trailers End in Serious Injury for Occupants of Passenger Vehicles
Collisions with large trucks often cause serious injury or death, even if the other vehicle is large, such as the scenario described above. In 2012, collisions with trucks took the lives of 2,843 occupants of the other vehicle, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. An additional 381 non occupants (such as pedestrians and cyclists) were killed by large truck collisions. In most scenarios, the injured or fatally wounded party is not the driver of the truck. Only 18 percent of all fatal truck collisions are fatal for the truck driver, while only 24 percent of truck collisions caused injuries happen to truck drivers.
Take Legal Action if You Have Been Injured by a Tractor-Trailer Truck
When a large truck is the cause of a serious or fatal collision, it is important to have an experienced attorney at your side due to the complex nature of these types of cases. In many circumstances, there are multiple injured parties, such as the case with the tour bus heading to Overland Park that was struck at Blue Springs. This adds a level of complication above what a normal multiple passenger vehicle collision would involve. Furthermore, ascribing liability is often more complex in large tractor-trailer collisions, as there are many parties that may be at fault. In the case of the Blue Springs incident, the driver was found to be at fault due to careless driving. Assuming the driver works for a trucking/shipping company, that company would be held financially responsible for compensating the injured and traumatized passengers of the tour bus. In other circumstances, the individual truck driver, truck manufacturer, or even the loading company could be held liable, depending on the cause of the crash. If you or a loved one were injured in a tractor-trailer collision, contact an experienced Kansas City, Missouri, car accident attorney with the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm today.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.