Victim’s family members are outraged because of a sentence that was handed down recently to the owner of a bus company. The Texas bus company owner was charged following a car accident that resulted in what could clearly be characterized as the wrongful death of 17 passengers. After a plea agreement, a federal judge ordered a sentence of three years of probation.
The crash happened back in 2008 when the bus was headed to an annual conclave and went over a highway bridge. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that a retreaded tire on the front of the vehicle was punctured by an unknown object. It was also determined that the tire was attached to the front axle illegally and was not permitted to leave the state, particularly because it failed inspection just months earlier.
The owner of Angel Tours entered a plea of guilty to operating a commercial vehicle after an unsatisfactory rating. Along with his probation sentence, the owner was also ordered to pay a fine of $500 to be paid in installments for a 30 month period and 55 hours of community service. Reportedly, the funeral costs and medical expenses surpassed $3.7 million.
Understandably, numerous family members of the deceased victims are upset that the bus company’s owner is only required to pay a fine and serve probation concerning his criminal conviction related to the car accident. It was not reported whether any wrongful death or personal injury lawsuits were commenced in the aftermath of the tragedy. In general, a criminal conviction of this nature would go a long ways toward proving financial liability in any related civil court action, though the issue of monetary damages would still have to be addressed.
Source: thompsoncitizen.net, “Bus company owner gets 3 years’ probation in 2008 Texas crash that killed 17 people”, Juan A. Lozano, Oct. 29, 2014