Mike Meyer of Bartimus Frickleton Robertson Radar said the accident occurred in the fall of 2021 on a four-lane divided highway in Kansas. The man was driving northbound while several school buses were headed southbound back to the bus yard. In order to reach the bus yard, the buses had to cross the northbound lanes of the highway, and the intersection was not controlled by a light or stop sign. As the man approached the intersection at 65 miles per hour, the first bus crossed over the northbound lanes of the divided highway. Then, without warning, the second bus followed the first bus. With insufficient time or distance to stop or swerve, the man’s light duty truck struck the middle of the bus and ricocheted into a ditch along the shoulder of the highway. First responders took him to a nearby hospital, where he was diagnosed with a profound diffuse axonal brain injury, along with numerous orthopedic injuries. He was kept on support for 10 days before he succumbed to his injuries.

The plaintiffs — the decedent’s surviving spouse, two adopted children and the decedent’s parents — filed a lawsuit against the bus company in Missouri where its registered agent was located. Meyer said the plaintiffs alleged the bus company was vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence in failing to yield to the decedent’s right of way. Further, during discovery plaintiffs learned the route for the bus driver that caused the crash specifically had him avoiding the highway where the crash occurred. Thus, plaintiffs alleged the bus company failed to implement and enforce sufficient policies and procedures, including by not limited to, mechanisms to ensure the bus drivers strictly adhered to their given routes.