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Many Oklahoma commercial vehicles are used to transport passengers and items over short and long distances. Only professional drivers or people who have undergone extensive training in operating large vehicles are legally allowed to drive vehicles, such as passenger buses and trucks. Overall, commercial vehicle drivers are less likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents than drivers of most motor vehicles. Unfortunately, when they are involved in collisions, the results are often catastrophic.

This was the case in a recent accident involving a Quickway Transportation truck and a bus carrying members of the North Central Texas College women’s softball team. Four players died when a truck traveling northbound on Interstate 35, near Davis apparently drifted across a median strip without braking and hit the southbound bus. The 9:00 p.m. accident also injured more than a dozen other people on the bus, including the coach who was driving. Two players remain in serious condition.

The National Transportation Safety Board recently released preliminary investigation results that indicated the 53-year-old truck driver failed to apply brakes before the collision. An inspection after the crash showed that the brakes were in good working order, making driver error the probable cause of collision.

Fatal accidents devastate families. Survivors must follow an investigation closely to determine whether someone can be held negligent and thus liable for providing compensation. When carelessness or misconduct is a factor, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by surviving family members. A lawsuit, however, will require that plaintiffs prove negligence on the part of a defendant. Once negligence is proven, though, the plaintiff is likely to be awarded damages based on incurred losses.

To learn more about commercial vehicle accidents, victims and their families can perform their own research on ways to obtain compensation or get facts and assistance from knowledgeable legal professionals. It is always a good idea to have as much knowledge as possible.

Source: Overdrive, “Truck driver in deadly Oklahoma truck-bus crash didn’t brake, perform evasive maneuvers,” James Jaillet, Oct. 1, 2014