On Jan. 18, a man pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor vehicular homicide in connection with a fatal bus crash that occurred in Georgia in 2017. The accident took the life a teenage missionary from Huntsville, Alabama.

According to Fulton County authorities, the defendant was driving a bus on Camp Creek Parkway when he improperly changed lanes and struck another vehicle. After the impact, he overcorrected and lost control of the bus, smashing into a median and striking a second car. The bus ended up on its side.

The bus was carrying a group of missionaries to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to go on a trip to Africa. One of the missionaries, a 17-year-old girl, was killed in the accident. The defendant was among 39 people hurt in the crash. As part of a plea deal, he was sentenced to 24 months of probation and 120 hours of community service. He is also banned from driving commercial or high-occupancy vehicles in the future, required to go to defensive driving school and ordered to pay $1,320 in fees. In addition, the judge told him not to contact the victim’s family.

Commercial bus drivers are expected to follow all road rules and safely deliver passengers to their destinations. When drivers behave recklessly and cause commercial vehicle accidents, they could be held accountable in criminal and civil court. For example, an injured victim could file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver for damages. This type of suit is designed to recover medical expenses, lost wages and other losses related to the accident, and it can be filed independently of any criminal action that is taken. Injured victims could learn more about their legal rights by speaking with an attorney.

Source: AL, “Church bus driver pleads guilty in Atlanta crash that killed Huntsville missionary“, Jan. 18, 2019