The latest and greatest coaches used in the charter bus industry are sleek. They have plush passenger seats and air conditioning. They might even have wi-fi for digital devices or displays for videos. But all the comforts of home can’t provide the safety of home.

When accidents happen due to bus driver negligence or oversight of basic safety requirements and maintenance by the bus company, people get hurt or die. Victims have the right to seek compensation, and those responsible deserve to be held accountable.

One recent accident north of Houston perhaps serves as a stark reminder of this. It happened last week on U.S. 59 in Panola County. Authorities say a tour bus operated a Houston-based company sideswiped an 18-wheeler. The time was about 1 a.m.

The bus was apparently carrying 13 passengers and the driver. A passenger who managed to escape injury said it was headed from Houston to Chicago at the time of the wreck.

According to the Department of Public Safety, what happened is that the bus was headed north on 59 when a passenger declared that someone had been left behind at a truck stop. Officials say the bus driver, in an apparent bid to pull a U-turn, turned the bus suddenly to the left and struck the semitrailer truck on its passenger side.

The bus driver, who was not strapped in by a seatbelt, and a passenger were thrown out of the vehicle and died. Three others on the bus were hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries. The driver of the semi had to be air-lifted to Tyler due to serious injuries he suffered.

The news report of the crash offers little more detail, but we presume that an investigation into the circumstances is underway.

Source: News-Journal.com, “Tour bus wreck kills 2, injures 4 in Panola County,” Sept 25, 2013