The families of three of the victims are suing the company that made the bus after their daughters died in a bus crash. In September of 2014, the North Central Texas College women’s softball team was returning to Texas after a scrimmage in Bethany against Southern Nazarene University. After the scrimmage, the team boarded a bus and headed back to Texas. Around 9 p.m., their bus was hit by a semi-truck. The 32-passenger bus rolled onto its side after the 18-wheeler crossed the median of Interstate 35 in Oklahoma.
Staley, the driver of the semi-truck, told investigators he was distracted at the time of the crash, but authorities later learned that drugs and drug paraphernalia were found in the vehicle. After a nine-month investigation, Staley was charged with four counts of manslaughter in June 2015.
After the accident, the parents of the victims realized that the bus was made of plywood, styrofoam and metal pieces that were not welded together. The families believe that the deaths and injuries would not have happened if the bus had been built with more crash-resistant and absorbent materials.
The report by the National Safety Transportation Board also found that the bus didn’t meet appropriate crash-worthiness standards and that passengers were not wearing seat belts. The four players who were killed were ejected or partially ejected.