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3 vehicles 3 jurisdictions 8 fatalities and 14 injured in crash

On Oct. 2, 2013, an accident occurred that took the lives of eight people and forever altered the lives of at least another 14 people who were injured in the collision. The crash involved three vehicles: a tractor-trailer, an SUV and a church bus. The truck accident also involved parties from at least three different jurisdictions, including Louisiana, North Carolina and Tennessee.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, a bus carrying a group of church members was heading in the eastbound direction on the highway. At some point, one of the tires on the bus burst. When this occurred, the driver lost control of the vehicle and swerved into the lanes carrying traffic headed in the opposite direction.

When this happened, the bus struck the side of the SUV and barreled straight into the path of the tractor-trailer, which then caught on fire upon impact. These were the preliminary details released by the Highway Patrol, and the final results of the investigation were expected to be released near the end of April.

We noted above that the accident occurred in Tennessee, but the victims were from several jurisdictions. The church was located in North Carolina where the passengers also resided, but this does not automatically mean that parties responsible for the maintenance and ownership of the bus were located there as well. The driver of the SUV was from Knoxville, and the driver of the truck was from Louisiana on his way to Georgia.

These details make this case a multijurisdictional one, and a civil wrongful death lawsuit doesn’t necessarily have to be filed where the accident occurred. In some cases, the laws in a different jurisdiction may be more favorable to the plaintiffs, whether they are injured victims or representatives filing on behalf of a victim that lost their life. A Lake Charles attorney can help advise a victim or family members on the optimal course of action. 

Source: News Sentinel, “THP to announce results Monday of I-40 fatal church bus crash in Jefferson County,” April 25, 2014

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