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One of the worst single-vehicle accidents this year leaves 2 dead

On the morning of Thursday, April 11, a bus bound for a casino crashed on a highway near George Bush Turnpike, killing two passengers and injuring many others. In one of the worst single-vehicle accidents in recent memory, the charter bus was carrying a group of mostly senior citizens from Texas to an out-of-state casino when the accident occurred. The accident is still under investigation by Texas authorities.

According to preliminary reports, the bus was traveling northbound when it suddenly veered to the right and struck an impact attenuator, a safety device installed along some highways. The force of the impact careened the bus back across the highway where it hit the median and mounted the highway divider, rolling onto its side and coming to a stop. When authorities responded, two unidentified passengers were already dead and over 30 more had sustained injuries characterized from minor to critical in severity.

All injured passengers were evacuated via the roof of the bus. Those with severe injuries were rushed to hospitals via ambulance, while those with non-life-threatening injuries were taken by local buses. The cause of the crash is still unknown. While mechanical problems may have contributed to the crash, authorities indicated that the investigation has not progressed sufficiently to be certain.

Single-vehicle accidents like this one in Texas are unique in terms of determining culpability and fault. When only one vehicle is involved, the burden of responsibility may lie with the driver, the vehicle itself, or outside forces like weather. While this investigation is ongoing, relatives of the deceased victims and the injured parties that survived may be entitled to legal compensation based upon wrongful death or personal injury claims against the driver and the driver's employer. State and local laws governing accident coverage will be called into play, so all parties may benefit from assessing their rights by an examination of the investigative report in conjunction with applicable laws.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Two die, dozens injured in Texas bus crash on George Bush Turnpike," Molly Hennessy-Fiske, April 11, 2013

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