The driver of a tractor-trailer that struck a bus carrying a women’s softball team from a Texas college in apparently did not attempt to brake before the crash, investigators say. Authorities report that the truck accident left four members of the community college’s softball team dead. The truck driver is accused of plowing across an interstate median without attempting to avoid the bus. In addition to the four young women who died, a dozen others suffered injury in the collision, with two still remaining in the hospital.
Investigators report that they are still not certain whether the accident was caused by truck driver fatigue or another factor such as a mechanical malfunction. So far, vehicle inspectors could not identify any problems with the brakes on the truck. The vehicle’s data recorder is expected to provide additional insight into the Sept. 26 crash.
Authorities say that the at-fault driver admitted to being distracted by something in the cab of the truck at the time of the crash. The collision occurred on Interstate 35 in Oklahoma, when the semi-truck traveled about 800 feet through the road’s median, hitting the bus that was carrying 15 athletes and one member of the coaching staff. The at-fault driver is accused of continuing to drive after the crash, ending up about 300 feet away after plowing through all of the southbound lanes and striking several trees.
So far, there are no charges pending against the at-fault driver in this case. Even if such drivers do not face criminal penalties, they may still be targeted by victims through civil lawsuits and similar courtroom proceedings. Victims who have suffered injury or the loss of a loved one because of truck driver fatigue or driver negligence deserve financial compensation for their civil claims.
Source: Fox News, “No sign truck driver tried to avoid crash with softball team bus, investigator says” Associated Press, Sep. 29, 2014