A CSX freight train collided with a charter bus in Biloxi on Tuesday, March 7, tragically killing four and injuring over 35 passengers.
The charter bus, operated by Texas-based Echo Tours & Charters, was carrying 49 passengers, who were part of a week-long trip organized by the Bastrop Senior Center.
The bus was heading north on Main Street in Biloxi when it was struck while trying to cross the tracks. The CSX train was headed from New Orleans to Mobile, Alabama at the time of the tragic collision.
Independent Investigation Update: Evidence Continues to Mount of Echo Bus Driver’s Failures Leading Up to Biloxi Train Crash
As our investigation unfolds, it is becoming clear that Echo’s driver made at least 5 fatal errors on the day of the accident including:
- Not following the prescribed route
- Using GPS instead of the directions he had received from Echo charter
- Not calling central dispatch or 911 to request that CSX stop all trains on the track until the bus was removed
- Not having the passengers immediately evacuate the bus
- Not following rule 392.10 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which requires all buses to stop 50 feet before the track and only proceed when they can cross the track safely without stopping
Interestingly, 2 other charter buses got to their destinations safely that very same day, without having to go over the Main Street crossing.
The Echo bus driver followed GPS instead, which is why he ended up driving over the crossing.
Our Undefeated Bus Accident Lawyers have Launched an Independent Investigation to Determine Why the Bus Driver Failed to Follow the Route Provided by the Tour Company and the 2 Other Tour Buses that Made it to their Destinations Safely
Our Bus Accident Lawyers have assembled a team of engineers, accident reconstructionists and Federal Motor Carrier Safety experts to determine
(1) why the bus driver failed to take the same route as the 2 other tour buses, both of which made it to their destinations safely without having to drive over the Main Street railroad crossing
(2) why the bus was stopped on the tracks—which is a violation of federal law—at the time of the crash
(3) why the bus driver didn’t immediately evacuate the passengers from the bus or contact 911 or Echo Charter’s Central Dispatch to request that CSX stop all trains approaching the railroad crossing until the bus had safely passed.
We’ll be updating this website with updates from our investigation as soon as additional information becomes available. If you have any questions, in the meantime, you can reach our Bus Accident Lawyers at 1-888-854-8989 or by clicking here.
Echo Tours & Charters’ Long History of Safety Violations
According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the federal agency responsible for creating safety rules that govern commercial bus companies, Echo Tours & Charters LP has had six crashes in the past two years.
Over this same two-year period, Echo Tours had 24 separate safety violations, including:
· Driver was not licensed to operate the motor coach (bus)
· Driver was using a hand-held mobile telephone while driving —a violation of Federal law
· Mechanical problems that prevented the bus from being operated safely
· Driving in excess of posted speed limit
Federal Law Required the Echo Charter Bus to Stop Before the Railroad Crossing and Only Proceed if it had Sufficient Space to Cross Without Stopping
According to passengers, the Echo Charter bus was stopped on the railroad track for at least 5 minutes before the crash. The reason why the bus was stopped is unclear.
Rule 392.10 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, however, requires commercial buses to stop 50 feet before all railroad crossing and to remain stopped until the bus has sufficient clearance to cross the track without stopping.
Our Bus Accident Lawyers Have Recovered Over $750 Million and Represented More Bus Accident Victims in the Past 5 Years than Any Other Law Firm in Texas
In the past 5 years alone, our Bus Accident Attorneys have
- recovered the #1 Largest Bus Accident Verdict in Texas
- recovered the #1 Largest Bus Accident Settlement in Texas
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Contact Our Undefeated Bus Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation at 1-888-854-8989 or by Clicking Here
If you or a loved one were involved in the crash and have questions about our investigation or your rights and options moving forward, contact our Experienced Bus Accident Lawyers for a free consultation at 1-888-854-8989 or by clicking here.
All consultations are free, and because we work exclusively on a contingency fee, you won’t owe us anything unless we win your case.