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Prisoners and Corrections Officers Die After Transport Bus Collides with a Freight Train

Earlier this year, a bus carrying prisoners skidded off an icy Texas highway. After skidding off the road, the bus fell down an embankment where it collided with a passing freight train. Tragically, eight prisoners and two corrections officers died. Four other prisoners and one corrections officer also suffered injuries. The accident occurred on an overpass on Interstate 20 in Penwell, just west of Odessa. The bus had been scheduled to take inmates from the Middleton prison in Abilene to the Sanchez prison in El Paso.

According to officials at the scene, the prisoners did not have on seatbelts and were handcuffed together in pairs. , The bus had been equipped for just one seat belt for the bus driver. After the train struck the bus, some of the prisoners were ejected from the bus. The train, a Union Pacific freight train, had 4 locomotives and 58 cars. No one on the train suffered injuries, but several container cars were damaged.

Texas Officials Hope to Enact Changes after Deadly Accident

Following the deadly accident, a report from the National Transportation Safety Board found that a defective metal guardrail may have contributed to the accident. Just a day before the accident a 225-foot section of metal guardrail was damaged in another crash. Furthermore, on the very same day, there were other accidents on the road that may have displaced the guardrail and pushed it into the traffic lane.

There are advocates and officials who believe that more could have been done to prevent the accident. Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, has called for a review of some of the practices of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice when it transports prisoners. She wants to look at ways to make transporting prisoners and corrections officers safer. The fact that the prisoners had been handcuffed and chained together made it difficult for the prisoners to protect themselves during the accident. Additionally, the bus was not equipped with seatbelts for the officers and the prisoners and the emergency exit in the back of the bus required a key, which only the corrections officers were able to access. .

Contact a Texas Greyhound Bus Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident as a result of a negligent driver, you need a Texas bus accident attorney who will protect your rights. The Texas bus accident attorneys at Zehl & Associates have extensive experience prosecuting claims against negligent bus drivers and bus companies throughout the United States.

In particular, Greyhound Bus Company— as one the largest public transportation bus company in the United States—is frequently involved in bus accidents. Zehl & Associates has helped numerous Greyhound bus accident victims obtain compensation for their injuries. In fact, we obtained an $18.5 million verdict against Greyhound, which is the largest ever awarded against the company. We can successfully fight against the largest bus companies throughout the United States.

Our Greyhound bus accident attorneys want to help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact the bus accident attorneys at Zehl & Associates today for a free consultation. You can either call us at 1-888-603-3636 or visit one of our offices located in Houston and Austin.