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NHTSB Investigation Cites Driver Fatigue in 2016 Texas Charter Bus Crash That Killed 9


Driver fatigue was a major factor in a charter bus crash that tragically killed 9 people near Laredo, Texas in May 2016.

According to a report issued this week by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a wet road and an inoperable anti-lock braking system also contributed to the horrific accident.

OGA Charters Casino Bus Overturned on U.S. Highway 83

The OGA Charters motorcoach crashed shortly after 11:30 a.m. on May 14th,  during a trip from Brownsville to a casino in Eagle Pass.

Apparently, the bus was moving through a curve along U.S. Highway 83 when it began to drift to the left. The 29-year-old driver lost control of the vehicle as he overcorrected and abruptly applied the brakes.

The bus then veered off the road and overturned on its left side, about 45 miles north of Laredo.

Seven passengers were pronounced dead at the scene, while another died on the way to the hospital. A ninth passenger died two days later.

OGA Charters Faulted for Inadequate Driver Oversight

The crash injured  at least 36 passengers, some seriously. The driver and trip coordinator also suffered minor injuries.

According to the NTSB, the driver had very little sleep leading up to the crash. Furthermore, a company official did not realize he had been scheduled to drive in excess of allowable hours.

“The NTSB concludes that, throughout its operational history, the motor carrier OGA Charters failed to provide adequate oversight of its drivers,” the report said.

The OGA Charter driver also experienced blurred vision “from poorly controlled diabetes.”

Bus Passengers Ejected When Left-Side Windows Gave Way

In addition, the vehicle’s left-side windows gave way too easily, causing some passengers to be ejected from the bus.

Other factors in the crash included the faulty braking system and a wet pavement that had not been treated with a common chip sealant to reduce skidding.

Notably, the Texas Department of Transportation added a chip sealant to that stretch of highway just three days later.

“The project encompassed the entire length of the horizontal curve at the motorcoach crash location, and it was conducted to address safety concerns related to low pavement friction,” the NTSB said.

OGA Charters Had History of Violations

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, OGA Charters’ two buses underwent seven roadside inspections from 2012 to 2015. Six inspections involved the motorcoach that crashed in 2016.

Three inspections uncovered brake violations that forced a vehicle out of service, while two others found driver logbook violations.

OGA Charters is no longer in business.

Our Undefeated Bus Accident Lawyers Have Won Record-Setting Recoveries in Fatigue-Related Crashes

Our Undefeated Bus Accident lawyers have won record-setting recoveries in crashes involving driver fatigue.

Most recently, for example, we won a $6 million settlement on behalf of several Greyhound passengers who were injured when a bus driver fell asleep at the wheel.

Our attorneys negotiated the settlement after obtaining a court-ordered sleep study – the first of a commercial driver in Texas – that proved the Greyhound driver suffered from undiagnosed, Obstructive Sleep Apnea and likely fell asleep while driving.

Our record-breaking recovery is the  largest settlement involving driver fatigue in Greyhound’s corporate history and was widely covered by CBS Morning News and other major media outlets throughout the United States.

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