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Tennessee Highway Patrol horrified by bus-truck crash

At least eight people were killed and 12 injured recently in a bus and truck collision that Tennessee Highway Patrol officers described as one of the worst accidents they had ever seen. Two of the injured were hospitalized in critical condition.

Police said the accident occurred when one of the tires blew out on a bus carrying a church group. The bus driver then lost control of the vehicle, police said, and collided with an SUV and a tractor-trailer. The bus rolled onto its side, the big rig truck burst into flames and a passenger in the SUV was killed. Also killed were the bus driver, his wife and several other passengers in the bus, who were members of a church group for senior citizens.

The National Transportation Safety Board ordinarily helps local authorities investigate large accidents such as this one, but officials said the NTSB was not able to assist in this case because the recent government shutdown meant that all its investigators were furloughed.

Simply because of the size and weight involved, bus and truck accidents have greater potential than other traffic accidents to lead to serious injuries and death. These accidents also involve more complex legal issues than typical traffic accidents. When multiple vehicles are involved in an accident, the issues can become extremely complicated.

Commercial vehicles such as buses and trucks are subject to federal regulations designed to ensure traffic safety. After an accident, it may be necessary to look through a truck's log to see if the driver had adequate rest before driving, as required by law, or if there has been any poor maintenance that might have contributed to the accident. Police reports and other official reports can help determine who was at fault for an accident.

Tennessee residents who have been injured in a traffic accident involving a truck or bus can be left with enormous medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. When their injuries are caused by someone else's negligence, the injured may be compensated through a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: NewsChannel5.com, "8 Killed, 14 Injured In Church Bus Crash On I-40 In East Tenn.," Oct. 2, 2013

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