Ryan Zehl Interviewed about $6 Million Settlement from Fatigue Related Bus Accident
Craig McKee: Tonight of a horrific bus crash that will just give you chills when you see this. “9 On Your Side” has obtained the dash cam video from the Greyhound bus crash on I-75 two years ago. You recall it sent dozens to area hospitals. Our Julie O’Neill joins us now and has new information on what caused that crash in the first place and what might have prevented it.
Julie, what’d you find out?
Julie O’Neill: Yeah, Craig, in his 44 years on the job, Liberty Township Fire Chief Paul Stumpf tells me he never responded to a crash with this many injuries. I do warn you the sound of the passengers in the dash cam video you’re about to see is disturbing.
The video is dark because it was around three in the morning the Greyhound bus bound for Detroit crashed.
[recording of screaming]
Julie: Daylight showed how frightening it must have been when the driver coming up I-75 in Liberty Township lost consciousness.
Man: He just rolled, accelerated right off the road into the rumble strips and then went to tumbling.
Julie: Anthony Mohammed got the call. His mother had broken both legs, an arm and a wrist and needed some 50 stitches.
Ryan Zehl: The companies want to get as many drivers as they can driving because that’s how these companies make money. But at some point, we have to put safety up there with profit.
Julie: Attorney Ryan Zehl just won a $6 million settlement for the victims of the crash after discovering the driver, Duane Garrett’s, known medical problems that pointed to sleep apnea.
Ryan: Less than a month before the crash, the Department of Transportation doctor, who saw this driver, specifically recommended a sleep study. Two days before his crash, he goes to a family doctor who looks at him for about five minutes and says, “Oh, you should be fine to drive,” and sends a letter in the medical records to Greyhound.
Julie: Zehl’s firm got a court order to have the driver take a sleep study, which revealed he indeed had moderate to severe sleep apnea.
Ryan: Had Greyhound just done what the DOT doctor recommended a month before the crash before allowing the driver to get on the road, none of this would have happened.
Julie: Ryan Zehl says the federal government largely puts this in the hands of the bus and truck companies. He says they are not requiring their drivers to disclose critical health conditions that would legally prohibit them from driving. I did reach out to Greyhound for comment and did not hear back.