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WISH TV 10-24-2014

WISH TV 10-24-2014

Megabus accused of negligence in Greenwood crash

October 24, 2014
By Jim Shella

Dozens of passengers were injured when a Megabus flipped on I-65 in Greenwood 10 days ago. Now, eight of them are accusing Megabus of negligence.

The bus was traveling in the rain and the windshield wipers did not work properly, according to a lawsuit filed in Chicago. A judge has already granted an order impounding the bus so it can be inspected.

The Megabus flipped after it hit a stalled car. Passengers report that the windshield wipers were making strange noises even after an attempt to repair them.

“When it flipped over I hit my head, but then I was unconscious and when I woke back up, I was upside down,” said passenger Lonnell Sorrells.

Sorrells is one of two passengers, the other with a broken collarbone, who appeared in the office of a Chicago lawyer Friday. They want unspecified damages because, they say, Megabus should have taken the bus out of service.

“That Megabus was negligent in allowing a bus to continue to travel on the road with a known mechanical defect,” said attorney Thomas Zimmerman.

They also pointed out that passengers received an email message from Megabus during the trip explaining that it was aware of the problem.

“During the bus ride, the bus driver made an announcement that the windshield wipers were not working properly,” added Zimmerman, “and that she was unable to see the road in the rain.”

The passengers also report that there was driver change before the accident and suggest that the second driver contributed to the negligence.

“He was actually driving a little bit faster than what he was supposed to,” said Sorrells. “I guess he was trying to make up for time, he was driving pretty fast.”

An IUPUI student has filed a second lawsuit. A Megabus spokesman says the company is aware of litigation over the I-65 crash and is cooperating with investigators.

The associate director of corporate affairs for Megabus.com released the following statement on Friday:

Megabus.com believes it is premature for anyone to comment on the cause of the accident while the investigation is ongoing. However, Megabus.com has no reason to believe that faulty wipers caused or contributed to the happening of this accident.

Megabus.com takes the safety of our passengers as its number one priority, consistently going above and beyond federal requirements. Megabus was also the first group to receive approval for all of its motor carriers from Transportation Safety Exchange (TSX), an independent rating organization that inspects, monitors and reports the safety performance of motor carriers in the ground transportation industry.


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