A Missouri family has filed the fifth lawsuit against Megabus, a popular bus service, for injuries received in an Aug. 2 crash that killed 25-year-old graduate student Aditi R. Avhad from the University of Missouri.
Filed by Michael Murphy on behalf of himself and his underage daughter, the suit seeks reparation of at least $450,000 and names both Megabus USA, LLC., and driver Preston Taylor as defendants.
The Chicago Tribune quotes the Murphys' lawyer Tim Dollar saying, the suit "centers around the belief that these buses are overweight for their tires.”
CBS Chicago reported that a blown tire was blamed for the crash, and passanger Zaq Hall described hearing a tire blow out and the scene after the bus veered from the road and crashed into a the pillar of an overpass to the website's news radio station WBBM.
I knew what (that) sounded like because on my ride up to Chicago two days ago (from Kansas City), there was a tire that went on that bus also. Same front tire. [It was] a really huge collision, and when I kind of came to my senses, I looked around and it was horrible. There were people in the aisles, laying there. Most people had some sort of blood on their face. It was pretty intense.
The Associated Press reports that 47 of 78 passengers were taken to hospitals, including five via helicopter.
The Murphys' lawsuit says they were subject to “personal, permanent and pecuniary” injuries and were “witnesses to traumatic and fatal injuries and were caused to experience severe emotional distress," according to the Tribune.
Chicago Governor Pat Quinn has called for an investigation. WBBM Newsradio’s John Waelti notes the request comes after two fatal Megabus accidents in Illinois in under one week.
The city-to-city express bus service has served 16 million people since its launch in 2006 and includes service to popular college towns. Service starts at $1 per ride depending on how early a customer books a trip. The company offers 5 percent cash back for students, making it a popular alternative to high gas prices.