Bus Crash Victims Seek Justice

Two survivors of the December 30, 2012 Oregon bus crash have filed suit against the bus company, claiming that the driver was tired, didn't listen to safety warnings, and drove too fast on a road that was covered with patches of snow and ice. Nine passengers were killed in the crash and 38 others were seriously injured.

The suit was filed against Mi Joo Tour & Travel on January 6 in Pierce County, Wash., on behalf of two South Korean exchange students who were on board the bus during the accident. According to the lawsuit, the bus driver doubled as a tour guide, working at least 90 hours in the first eight days of the nine-day tour package; U.S. regulations limit drivers to working 70 hours in an eight-day span.

The bus trip began in Vancouver, British Columbia, traveling through Southern California, Las Vegas, and Grand Canyon National Park before heading north to Boise, Idaho. On the last day of the tour, the bus left a Boise hotel at 7:30 a.m. and traveled 203 miles in just over three hours before crashing through a guardrail and plunging 200 feet down an embankment.

Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the crash, which happened on a cold, overcast morning on a flat and straight stretch of the highway. Sand had been applied to the icy road a few hours before the crash and a sand truck was behind the bus making a second pass on the highway when the bus went off the road.

The posted speed limit on that section of highway is 65 mph for cars and 55 mph for trucks and buses; police haven’t released information on the speed at which the bus was traveling or if driver fatigue was a suspected problem.

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