On Tuesday morning, a charter bus carrying students from Tuscarawas Valley High School was rear-ended by a semi-truck as the vehicles were traveling westbound on I-70 in Licking County, Ohio, just east of Columbus. The commercial vehicle accident occurred shortly before 9 a.m. and left six dead and at least 18 others injured.
The Robenalt Law Firm, Inc. would like to express its condolences to the family and loved ones of those who were injured or killed in this tragic accident that has so dramatically affected the Tusky Valley School System. In the aftermath of a commercial vehicle accident such as this, swift measures are essential to safeguard and maintain crucial evidence. Our law firm is prepared to promptly deploy accident reconstruction experts to thoroughly investigate any semi-truck accidents.
Five vehicles were involved in the fiery crash, including a semi-truck and a charter bus operated by the Pioneer Trails charter bus company. A total of 57 people were on board the charter bus, which was carrying students and chaperones from Tusky Valley High School to the Ohio School Boards Association conference, which was being held 100 miles away in Columbus, Ohio. Three passengers on the bus and another three people in one of the passenger vehicles were all pronounced dead at the scene. At least 18 others were injured and are being treated at area hospitals, including the driver of one of the commercial vehicles, who was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) sent a team to the crash site to conduct a safety investigation and is expected to release the preliminary results of their investigation this afternoon. While the cause of the bus crash is being investigated, questions remain over the safety records of the charter bus and the semi-truck. According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Pioneer Trails has a satisfactory rating and has been involved in one other crash in the last 24 months, which resulted in injuries to one person. Data about the other commercial vehicle has not been released.
Details of the November 14, 2023, commercial vehicle accident are still being released, but this tragic case is similar to others that the Robenalt Law Firm has handled, including a recent mid-seven-figure settlement in a case in the Southern District of Ohio where The Robenalt Law Firm represented the family of two minor children who were tragically killed in a rear-end truck accident.
In that case, we were able to obtain evidence from the cell phone of the semi-truck driver, which showed that he was accessing social media in the minutes leading up to the crash.
The federal District Court awarded sanctions against some of the defendants for failure to properly identify the insurance coverage available for the claims. The court found as follows:
The record is clear that Defendants have failed to comply with this Court’s December 1, 2017 Order and have failed to meet their discovery obligations. Indeed, Defendants do not argue to the contrary regarding their inaccurate responses to Plaintiffs’ discovery requests. . . . The only issue then is whether sanctions are appropriate, and if so, which specific sanctions. Under the totality of the circumstances here, the Court finds that sanctions are appropriate. Defendants were supposedly unaware that the Lloyds of London insurance policy existed despite making a claim on the policy for the car crash involving the [Plaintiffs]. But, ignorance, without diligence, is not an acceptable excuse. The best-case scenario is that Defendants simply did not make any attempt to determine all the insurance policies they had, despite their representations and Plaintiffs’ repeated attempts at obtaining this information. The worst-case scenario is that Defendants caused Plaintiffs to endure the unreasonable wait knowing all along that they had the Lloyds of London insurance policy. While the Court is inclined to accept the former as true, either way, Defendants committed a sanctionable discovery violation.
In the wake of the horrible tragedy currently playing out in Licking County, Ohio, The Robenalt Law Firm stands ready to immediately dispatch accident reconstruction experts to investigate any semi-truck accident. In any commercial vehicle accident, immediate action is necessary to protect and preserve all evidence required.
Ohio semi-truck accident injury attorney Tom Robenalt started his career at a prominent insurance defense firm, where he represented insurance companies in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Today, he uses that experience to help people who were injured and the families of those who were killed by someone else’s negligence.
To put his experience to work for you, contact The Robenalt Law Firm, Inc. today. Call us at (216) 223-7535, email email@example.com, or complete our online form. We work with clients throughout Etna, Cleveland, Columbus, and Licking County as well as throughout all of Ohio.