Oregon Bus Crash Victims File Suit

Jan 07, 2013, 12:14 ET from Herrmann Scholbe Law Firm

TACOMA, Wash., Jan. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorney Charles Herrmann of the Herrmann Scholbe Law Firm filed the lawsuit in Tacoma, Washington on behalf of two Korean exchange students Chae, Jong-Hyun and An, Seong-Jun, victims of the recent Oregon bus crash disaster.  The complaint alleges driver fatigue, failure to heed warnings, and speed too fast for conditions against the defendant tour bus owner Mi Joo Tour & Travel Ltd., home based in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Trial is set for January 6, 2014, under Pierce County cause # 13-2-05025-6.

The complaint alleges the driver of the tour bus, also doubling as a tour guide, worked 90-100 hours without relief over the first 8 days of a tour package, violating Federal regulations governing the maximum allowable time on-duty and driving.  On the two days immediately preceding the accident, the driver worked over 27.5 hours while driving over 1,200 miles and conducting a tour of the Grand Canyon. "It is inescapable, anyone would be extremely fatigued after working at that pace before the accident," the attorney commented.

The scene of the accident is well known as a severely treacherous stretch of I-84.  So much so the complaint alleges: "The Oregon Department of Transportation had issued an express warning to drivers to respect the hill in which it urged drivers to exercise extreme caution. It further warned that between October and April it was common to confront fog, snow, and black ice upon the roadway. The Oregon DOT notice also advised that posted speeds are maximums in good weather. Bad weather demands lower speeds ... the tour bus passed 3 reader board signs warning of dangerous conditions ahead posted on I-84."

The suit further alleged that at the time of the accident the weather was freezing.  There were patches of snow and ice upon the roadway and fog in places. Yet, the driver did not adequately slow the bus to a safe speed given the hazardous conditions present. As a result, in the vicinity of mile marker 227 on I-84, driver Hwang lost control of the tour bus as it began to slide erratically from side to side, then spun 360 degrees to crash through a guardrail to flip end-over-end as it careened hundreds of feet down a steep embankment on Deadman Pass a few miles east of Pendleton, Oregon. Nine people died and dozens more were injured.

The complaint alleges: "While the bus was not outfitted with seat belts, neither of these plaintiff boys was ejected. Chae was knocked unconscious and An fainted. When they recovered consciousness, they awoke to a nightmarish scene of dead and wounded passengers, people screaming and crying all around them; some pinned in the bus, while others lay crying and yelling for help both inside the bus and strewn in the snow outside. The boys did what they could to assist others and then when help arrived they eventually made their way back up to the highway where they were taken by ambulance to St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton, Oregon."

"The emotional trauma experienced in the accident, in observing the blood, gore and death frequently causes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)," a Vietnam veteran himself, Herrmann opined "it's a common problem suffered by many veterans, this accident was every bit as horrific as some combat experiences.

Herrmann gained an international reputation for successfully representing literally hundreds of victims in accident disaster cases over the last 30 years. His role in cracking the 1983 shoot down of Korean Air flight KAL 007 by a Soviet Mig over Sakhalin Island was portrayed in the HBO movie "Tailspin" and featured in the book "Death of 007."

These two boys were released after approximately 8 hours of treatment and observation at the hospital and then treated over the following 3 days at a hotel arranged by the Red Cross before being transported back home to Tacoma.  "I understand it will take several months for doctors to fully assess their injuries," Attorney Herrmann concluded.

Copies of the filed complaint provided upon request.  Contact Charles Herrmann at cell: 253.209.5222, or email: charles@hslawfirm.com.  Koreans can contact Julie Hwang at cell: 425.409.4611, or email julie@hslawfirm.com.  Our website: http://www.herrmannscholbe.com.

SOURCE Herrmann Scholbe Law Firm