Horrifying Texas State Student’s Death Puts Spotlight on Bus Safety
November 1, 2016 -
Popular Texas State student Jordin Taylor from Burleson was killed late last Friday evening when a shuttle bus dragged her more than 500 feet after she came out of a concert venue at Cool River Ranch.
Jordin was only 20 years old and a freshman at the university. It is believed that she was attending a frat party at the Cool River Ranch just before the accident happened.
It is not yet known how the accident happened. All that is known at this stage is that the young student’s body was found under the bus on Saturday morning. The bus had been left in the position it was found after apparently losing control of its air brakes the previous evening at about 11.15 p.m.
As can be expected, Jordin’s father is devastated and at this point only thinking about recovering the body of his daughter. The death comes after a previous unrelated tragedy that the family has already had to deal with, which was the death of Jordin’s mother due to a brain tumor less than 4 years ago.
Bus accidents have been in the news quite a lot in the last year in Texas and this is the second time this year when a bus has been involved in fatalities that may have been caused by either driver error or defective parts.
Earlier in the year in May, 8 bus passengers were killed and 44 were injured when a bus rolled over on a section of U.S. Highway 83, 140 miles south west of San Antonio. In this case, it appeared that the driver had lost control of the charter bus, which was destined for a casino in Eagle Pass, South Texas.
The accident took place in broad daylight, although it had been raining at the time. Weather, by itself, is rarely a reason for vehicle crashes as drivers are expected to slow down if the road appears to be wetter and therefore potentially more slippery than usual. According to state troopers, there were no other vehicles on the highway at that location at the time of the crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), investigates all crashes of this type, especially when major injuries and fatalities are involved. The Texas DOT also keeps statistics on all vehicle crashes and their causes across the U.S. Their data shows that the three main reasons for crashes on Texas highways are:
- speeding, which includes not slowing down when the conditions deteriorate;
- distracted driving, which is when the driver is using a cell phone, looking out of the window, eating or drinking etc.
- failing to maintain lane.
The accident in May was the worst to happen in terms of fatalities since January last year. In that month, a Department of Criminal Justice bus hit a piece of highway guard rail just west of Odessa. The bus toppled over the edge of the highway and fell on top of a freight train that was passing under the highway. Ten people were killed in the bus. Eight of them were inmates and two were Texas corrections officers. The investigation into the accident revealed that the bus had crashed because the guardrail had become displaced.
The worst bus accident in recent years was in 2008 when seventeen passengers died in a bus crash near Sherman. In that accident, the cause was identified by the NTSB as a retreaded tire puncture. The investigation revealed that the bus had not been authorized to leave the state (it was on its way to a religious meeting in Missouri).It had failed an inspection three months before the accident and the retreaded tire that was the immediate problem had been fixed in place on the front axle illegally. The bus company owner, who had been charged with making false statements, managed to avoid imprisonment after probation was arranged as part of a plea bargain.
There is a certain amount of false sense of security in traveling on a bus. In fact, some people deliberately leave their car behind when they travel long distances, as they feel that they can relax knowing that they don’t have to worry about accidents. Unfortunately, as can be seen by the accident reports in Texas, bus accidents are far too common. Innocent people have no control over the way the bus is driven or whether the bus is properly equipped for use and as a result are dying and suffering from serious injuries, some of which may be life changing.
Any serious injury that has been caused by someone else can become a very expensive experience. Hospital bills and lost income can be crippling for the injured person and their family. If you, or a member of your family, have been injured through no fault of your own, you may be able to claim compensation with the help of compassionate and successful personal injury attorney Juan Reyna “JR”at the J Reyna Law Firm based in San Antonio Texas.