It isn’t likely you’ve forgotten the tragic wreck in 2014 where a truck driver allegedly took the life of 4 college softball players outside of Davis, Oklahoma. The female athletes were on a bus heading south on Interstate 35 back to Gainesville after playing in Bethany when their bus was struck by a semi heading northbound that somehow managed to terrifyingly cross over the median, striking the bus’ left side. The driver claimed he was distracted momentarily by something in his cab.
For a nine-month period following the tragedy the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has investigated the crash and now feels confident in bringing charges against the driver with first-degree manslaughter on four counts. The probable cause affidavit explaining a summary of the investigation’s findings has not been released to the public. However, a preliminary report compiled by the National Transportation and Safety Board reported that the truck followed a right curve in the highway but then failed to continue following the road, departing from the left lane of travel across a median that was 92 feet wide and composed of depressed earth. At a rate of more than 70 miles per hour, the rig continued on through the median for nearly a quarter of a mile before entering the opposing direction of travel, side-swiping the bus, causing it to roll over. The rig carried on across the southbound interstate, crossing it completely before its path of destruction finally came to a stop in a wooded area off the stretch of interstate, almost 300 feet from the bus. The bus landed on its right side with the left side nearly peeled away.
There is little doubt the investigation into the truck driver’s claims and the accident scene will provide some semblance of true causation, for now it can only be speculated.
If you have lost a loved one you can sympathize with the families of these four girls. Negligence and recklessness result in senseless deaths. While there is no remedy, there is treatment and one form is to set a precedent, letting the world know that it is not okay, failing to maintain attention when sharing the road with others is a punishable offense, whether civilly or criminally or perhaps even both. An Oklahoma wrongful death attorney may be able to assist you in your effort to see justice carried out.
Source: DallasNews.com, “Truck driver charged in bus crash that killed 4, NCTC softball players,” June 26, 2015