Bus driver's tire catches fire, passenger sues

Steve Gonzalez Mar. 17, 2005, 10:47am

A bus driver who would not stop to let a passenger exit even after one of its tires caught fire and filled the bus with smoke, is being sued in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Imperial, Mo. resident Sierra Turner filed a six-count lawsuit against Husky Bus & Transportation Services and its driver, Clifford Woodward.

Represented by Stephen Buser of Columbia, Turner and her husband are seeking at least $300,000 in damages.

With no apparent connection to the venue, Turner filed suit in St. Clair County on March 10, over an incident that took place while she was a passenger traveling on Highway 57 in Vienna, Ill. on March 13, 2003. She claims the defendants committed the following acts of negligence:

  • Failed to maintain the brakes and tires of the bus in a reasonably safe condition;

  • Failed to inspect the bus for defective brakes and tires;

  • Failed to allow Turner to exit the bus after a tire caught fire and filled the bus with smoke;

  • Continued to drive the bus after the tire caught fire; and

  • Failed to put out the tire that caught fire.

    According to the complaint, Turner suffered severe and permanent psychological and physical injuries that caused her and will continue to cause her to suffer great pain and mental anguish along with medical bills.

    The suit does not state specific injuries Turner sustained.

    Turner’s husband, James, also is seeking damages, claiming he has incurred medical expenses on behalf of his wife.

    05 L 177 (20th Circuit)

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