Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Bonuras turn tragedy into greed

Ever since I heard about this I've wanted to write about it and I've finally found the time to sit down and write about it.

The Beaumont Enterprise: West Brook soccer player's family sues bus company, driver

The family of a student killed in the March bus accident involving the West Brook High School girls soccer team sued the bus company and its driver Wednesday.

The lawsuit, filed in Jefferson County district court on behalf of Alicia Bonura's family, alleges the bus chartered from Sun Travel was unsafe and that the driver was negligent.


The lawsuit seeks both actual and punitive damages from Sun Travel and Lorri Ann White, the Silsbee resident who drove the bus.

The manufacturers of the bus and its parts also will be added as defendants in the lawsuit, Ferguson said.

Did they miss anybody? Michael Jackson? The Pope? Santa Claus?

According to a preliminary accident report from the Department of Public Safety, an eastbound pickup truck hauling a trailer lost part of its load of insulation.

The bus, heading west, swerved to the right to avoid hitting the insulation, going onto the grass. The bus driver veered left in an attempt to regain control of the bus.

She then took "faulty evasive action" to the right, causing the bus to tip over on its left side, the report said.

Do accidents just not happen anymore?

Anytime you see something fall in your path in the road you do your best to avoid it for the simple fact that you don't know what it could be. It's just instinct.

If anybody's responsible, it's the guy who didn't secure his cargo to the trailer. I'm surprised they didn't name him in the suit.

Of course, now that I've mentioned it, he probably will be.

The Bonuras hope the litigation forces the bus industry to adopt seat belts and safety glass windows, Ferguson said.

As a wise man once said that if something looks like bull and smells like bull, then it probably is bull.

That line should read something to the tune of "The Bonuras hope the litigation forces the industry to give them tons of money so they'll be able to retire early thanks to their daughter's tragic death, Ferguson said."

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that if that's REALLY what you want, then you push the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the governmental entity that is responsible for setting safety standards for the bus industry. According to a story written by the Houston Chronicle shortly after the accident, seat belts are not required. Warnings for bus seatbelts went ignored

But federal regulators have continued to rely solely upon what experts call "compartmentalization" to provide the same protection that has been used for decades. This system uses an "egg carton" design, or cocoon-like environment of well-padded, high-backed, solidly anchored seats to protect the passenger.

"While there may be some benefit in lap-shoulder belts, we wouldn't require them on charter or school buses," said Rae Tyson, spokesman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in Washington, D.C.


The federal agency conducted tests in 2002 that proved lap-shoulder belts would provide more protection than compartmentalization alone. But Tyson said federal officials don't think such restraints are needed, as they are in cars.

Sounds to me like the group needs to be pressured.

Personally, I think that her parents are just looking to make money pff pf their daughter's tragic death.

If the Bonuras want their daughter's tragic death to really mean something then they should be in Washington, D.C. fighting to get tougher regulations instituted instead of lining their pockets by suing the people who followed the weak regulations that are on the books now.

(Cross-posted at Through our eyes)

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