Two passengers on a Megabus allege they sustained various injuries after the bus crashed into a concrete pillar last year on southbound I-55 near Litchfield in Montgomery County.
Maurine Stellhorn and Francisco Miranda filed a lawsuit May 30 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Megabus, Coach, Preston L. Taylor and Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations.
In their complaint, Stellhorn and Miranda allege they were riding in a 2011 Van Hool double-decker bus on Aug. 2, 2012. The bus was traveling south on Interstate 55 near mile marker 57 when it left the road and crashed into a concrete bridge abutment, according to the complaint filed May 30 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.
Because of the collision, Stellhorn suffered serious injuries to her head, face, jaw, arms, wrists, hands, legs, knees, ankles and torso while Miranda suffered permanent head, face, spine, neck, back, shoulders, brain and torso injuries. Both plaintiffs incurred medical costs, experienced pain and suffering, lost their normal life, endured disability and disfigurement, suffered emotional distress, experienced an increased risk of future harm and lost wages, the suit states.
Because of the emotional distress they suffered during the crash, Stellhorn and Miranda claim they have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since the collision.
The plaintiffs blame Taylor, who was driving the bus, for causing the collision, saying he negligently failed to stay within a single lane, failed to drive at a safe speed, failed to reduce his speed to avoid a collision, failed to properly maintain the tires on the bus, failed to properly inspect the tires on the bus before the crash and failed to keep the bus on the road.
According to media reports, Taylor was a 25-year-old rookie whose trainer had accompanied him on the route. A front tire on the bus blew out, causing it to careen out of control. One passenger was killed.
They also say Megabus and Coach, which owned the bus at the time of the collision, negligently failed to properly train and supervise the driver of their bus.
Bridgestone supplied the tires that were used at the time of the collision. However, the tires provided had inadequate bonding, an adequate belt edge protection, had a propensity for tread separation, lacked adequate warnings, were inadequately or improperly tested and were prone to an unreasonable risk of puncture and deflation, the complaint says.
In their complaint, the plaintiffs seek a judgment of more than $600,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.
Kevin A. Sullivan of Sauter Sullivan in St. Louis will be representing them.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-269.