An area woman is suing a bus driver and the charter company as a result of a crash that left Hartland students and chaperones injured.
Holly Shuart of Highland filed the suit against bus driver Brianne Pope and the bus company, Ground Travel Specialist, seeking in excess of $25,000, excluding costs and attorney fees. Shuart was one of the seven chaperones on the bus that was returning home from a field trip with 42 Hartland Middle School students on April 27th.
Shuart claims the driver was negligent and careless when driving the bus before it overturned in Howell Township at I-96 and M-59. The charter bus reportedly left the off-ramp from eastbound I-96 onto M-59, and tipped onto its side. Some of the injuries sustained by passengers included a broken neck, broken ribs, a collapsed lung and a broken hand. Shuart’s lawsuit states that the crash caused her to be “thrown from her seat and strike her body on parts of the interior of the vehicle and other passengers”. Court records show Shuart allegedly suffered serious cuts, bruises and contusions, and injuries to the neck, back and spine. The lawsuit states that Shuart is suffering and will continue to suffer “intense and excruciating” mental and bodily pain, and that she will require assistance, attendant care, and replacement services.
In the lawsuit, Shuart alleges the bus driver “negligently, carelessly and unlawfully” operated the vehicle, failed to have said vehicle equipped with brakes adequate to control its movements, failed to make proper observation of the dark and rainy weather conditions, drove the vehicle on the highway with “willful and wanton disregard of the rights and safety of others”, failed to drive at a careful and prudent speed, and did not keep a reasonable distance, following other vehicles too closely. Shuart also alleges that the transportation company, Ground Travel Specialist, failed to hire a driver that was competent.
A status conference regarding the lawsuit has tentatively been set for April 3rd, 2020. (DK)