The first legal action against the bus company involved in the March 12, 2011 bus accident in the Bronx that killed 15 people was filed during the last week of March.
Yuke Chue Lo has alleged that he suffered a fractured skull and has undergone several surgeries. His suit is asking for $20 million.
The bus company, World Wide Tours, conducts regular runs for mostly Asian customers from New York to Connecticut casinos. The bus was returning from Connecticut to New York City in the early morning hours when the accident occurred.
The bus driver, Ophadell Williams, has claimed that he had to swerve to avoid a tractor-trailer and that the two vehicles may have collided before the crash. Investigators from the National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) found skid marks that indicated the bus had travelled about 450 feet while hitting a guard rail at least three times before striking a sign pole that sheared off the top of the bus above the window line.
A background check of Williams revealed a manslaughter conviction in 1992 for which he served two years, and a larceny conviction in which he served four years. Regulations do not prevent a bus company from hiring anyone with a criminal record.
Accounts from survivors and another motorist indicate that Williams was “all over the road” and appeared to have fallen asleep. NTSB investigators have recovered the engine control module, or “black box,” that has data indicating the bus speed and other information at the time of the crash, and a forward-looking camera that may reveal definitive images of what occurred.
Investigators are also looking for more evidence of Williams’ conduct while at the Connecticut casino as well as examining the bus logs and records from World Wide Tours. World Wide Tours does have a record of 26 citations over the past two years of which five were for fatigued drivers.