Austin charter bus hit by train in Mississippi, 4 dead, 35 injured
UPDATE: The Carlson Law Firm investigators have developed information which indicates the bus was “high-centered” on the railroad tracks at the time of the crash and may have been stranded there for a least 5-10 minutes prior to the incident. Initial indications support the bus was in the process of offloading when the train stuck.
Seven passengers managed to get off, according to a local news channel.
Tuesday’s collision isn’t the first crash at that railroad crossing. Two months earlier, a Pepsi truck became stuck on the low ground clearance when crossing the tracks. The vehicle was struck by an oncoming train. There were no injuries reported with that crash.
At least four people are dead after a freight train crashed into a charter bus in Mississippi, which was traveling from Austin, Texas, according to authorities.
Biloxi Police Chief John Miller described the crash as a “terrible, chaotic scene” at a press conference, adding that 35 people have been hospitalized.
Miller added that the CSX freight train was traveling east when it collided the charter bus that was heading north and pushed it nearly 300 feet down the tracks. The eastbound mixed-freight train, heading from New Orleans to Mobile, had three locomotives and 52 cars, 27 loaded cars and 25 empty cars.
Many of the victims were taken out of the bus through broken windows, which is confirmed to have been transporting approximately 51 senior citizens from the Bastrop Senior Center and Sealy Senior Center to a casino in Biloxi.
A nearby hospital set up a triage unit at the site to treat the injured, and helicopters were carrying the injured to hospitals that handle trauma cases.
Witnesses at the scene said the bus, which appeared to be from Texas-based Echo Transportation, had been stuck on the train tracks.
Echo Tours & Charters LP
The charter bus the was transporting the passengers was owned and operated by Dallas-based Echo Tours & Charters LP.
According to company documents, Echo has more than 300 vehicles, which operate in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Wyoming.
The company “offers comprehensive tour, charter, and shuttle services to a full range of corporate, municipal, and institutional users, as well as individuals travelers for professional and leisure travel requirements,” according to their website.
There are 5 million truck and bus drivers sharing the road with more than 250 million motorists which is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) core mission is to prevent crashes, injuries, and fatalities related to large trucks and buses on our roads. An important step in achieving the mission is to identify unsafe motor carriers and prioritize FMCSA enforcement resources on those that pose the greatest safety risk. The Safety Measurement System (SMS) is FMCSA’s workload prioritization tool. FMCSA uses the SMS to identify carriers with potential safety problems for interventions1 as part of the Agency’s safety compliance and enforcement program called Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)
To view Echo Transportation’s USDOT Safety Record, click here.
To view Echo Transportation’s history of complaints via TX DMV, click here.
To view Echo Transportation’s reported vehicle history, click here
Bus Crash Injuries and Deaths
Like truck drivers, bus drivers must be competent employees, having endured proper background checks and received adequate training to provide a safe atmosphere and travels for passengers. Some of the driver-centered problems that can lead to unsafe conditions include:
- Driver negligence
- Poor bus security
- Operating on dangerous roads and interstates
- Operating during obviously dangerous weather conditions
- Driving drunk or drugged
- Fatigued driving
- Inadequate maintenance of the bus and its equipment
Bus Crashes and Legal Issues
While dealing with a bus company and uncovering its role in a preventable accident can be difficult for injured passengers or family members who lost someone in a fatal bus accident, bus insurance companies can be equally complicated, making advocacy important to those seeking to distinguish their rights and protect their loved ones.
Contact The Carlson Law Firm
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed in a bus accident caused by a negligent driver or inadequate maintenance of bus equipment, call our personal injury attorneys and contact our bus accident lawyers today for a free case evaluation.
We have years of experience representing victims and their families of serious bus accidents. Our experienced personal injury lawyers, professional medical consultants, private investigators and caring staff will help you piece together the various questions you may have regarding your accident or the fatal accident of a loved one, while seeking just compensation for your injuries and losses.
We care. We can help.
- Written by Jill Fowler