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Tour bus rolls over cliff, 9 passengers die in crash

The highways and roads in Montana can be dangerous, particularly in infrequently-traveled areas with less-than-ideal visibility. Navigation in these areas during winter weather episodes requires drivers to be extra cautious. Failure to be cautiously while driving during winter may lead to a fatal accident, such as the one that recently occurred in the Western United States.

According to police, a tour bus crashed and fell 100 feet down an embankment after the bus driver lost control while traveling on a section of highway known to be dangerous in snowy conditions. The accident caused more than two dozen passengers sustain injuries, nine of which turned out to be fatal. Despite the horrific results of the incident, the bus remained intact with none of the debris visible at the scene.

Two passengers, ages 16 and 17, shared their horrific experience with the fatal crash. They said that they were both sitting at the back of the bus when the vehicle lost control, struck a guardrail and flipped. They saw the glass breaking and fellow passengers stuck on their seats as the bus fell off the hill. One of the young adults sustained a broken collarbone while the other sustained a knee injury.

Upon reporting to the scene of the accident, crews discovered that the bus driver survived. At the time of reports, the bus driver had not been interviewed by police to determine his exact role or liability in the crash.

Bus drivers and their employers can be held liable for accidents that occur while the mass-transit vehicles are in operation, depending on the circumstances behind the incident. Victims or immediate family members may file a personal injury or wrongful death suit against the bus driver and the company to receive compensation needed for medical treatment and funeral expenses, in addition to the emotional pain they have dealt with as a result of the crash.

Source: USA Today, "9 killed in tour bus crash along Oregon highway," Dec. 31, 2012

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