Bus passengers settle lawsuit over 2009 crash

2013-11-17T12:00:00Z Bus passengers settle lawsuit over 2009 crashBy JOSHUA WOLFSON Casper Star-Tribune The Billings Gazette
November 17, 2013 12:00 pm  • 

Two passengers on a bus that collided with a semitrailer near Casper four years ago have settled their lawsuit over injuries they suffered in the crash, federal court records show.

Loryjay SunRhodes and Stephanie Elk Revelo had accused the semi’s driver, Steven Burson, and the company for which he worked, Darren Nelson Trucking, of negligence. They had been seeking compensation for their injuries and unspecified punitive damages.

The settlement was revealed in a request to dismiss the case that attorneys for both sides filed this week in U.S. District Court for Wyoming. The request did not include terms of the agreement.

Lawyers for the bus passengers and the defendants did not respond to messages left Friday afternoon.

The case stems from a Dec. 5, 2009 crash on Interstate 25, several miles east of Casper. SunRhodes and Revelo were riding on an Arrow Stage Lines bus that slammed into an overturned tractor-trailer. The impact killed the bus’s driver and injured both plaintiffs, along with other passengers.

The crash happened about 1:40 a.m. as the bus was traveling from Denver to Billings. The lawsuit accused Burson of failing to use emergency flares or hazard triangles to warn other drivers that his tractor trailer was partially blocking the highway.

Burson, who’d been hauling frozen food, had driven for 11 hours without a break before the crash, the suit claimed.

The lawsuit alleges that Darren Nelson Trucking hired Burson knowing that he had a history of poor driving, along with health problems. It also accuses the company of failing to properly train and supervise Burson.

The crash sent 29 passengers to the hospital and sparked several lawsuits. Bonner’s widow settled a suit against Burson and Darren Nelson Trucking in 2012. Others passengers have also taken legal action.

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