A chartered bus, transporting several senior citizens to a casino in Oklahoma, overturned after leaving the roadway and striking a concrete barrier on a highway near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. More than 40 passengers were injured and three suffered fatal injuries. The driver of the bus, 65 year old Loyd Rieve, stated he may have lost consciousness in the moments before the crash.
A preliminary report by the Texas Department of Public Safety found no defect with the Cardinal Coach Line bus and noted Rieve’s failure to maintain his lane while driving. It also stated that Rieve had tested negative for drugs or alcohol. Although driver error is likely the cause of the wreck, it is strongly recommended that an independent accident reconstructionist examine all potential causes anytime a fatality or severe injury occurs. Moreover, whenever there are multiple victims involved and limited insurance to compensate everyone, it is extremely important to hire a lawyer who is experienced in handling these types of wrecks and dealing with insurance companies.
If Rieve is found to be negligent in his operation of the bus, Cardinal Coach Line, as his employer, may also be held liable for his negligence. Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer is liable for the wrongful acts of an employee if such acts occur within the scope of the employment. Additionally, Cardinal Coach Line may be liable for its own negligent hiring, training and/or supervision of Rieve. According to court records, this was not the first time Rieve and his employer were involved in a civil lawsuit due to his negligent driving. In 1998, Rieve was working for another company when he hit and killed a man who was trying to help at an accident scene on a highway near Dallas. Rieve and his employer were subject to two lawsuits, and a jury found that his employer was negligent for hiring Rieve.