The Texas Department of Public Safety has recommended that the driver of the bus that crashed along an Irving freeway in April be charged with criminally negligent homicide. Three senior citizens died from injuries sustained during the crash and more than 40 others were injured.
DPS spokesman Lonny Haschel said Tuesday that the state has completed its investigation and passed it off to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.
On April 11, a Cardinal Coach Line bus taking senior citizens to a casino in Oklahoma crashed along northbound State Highway 61. The incident report filed at the time of the crash says the bus hit a barrier, turned across lanes of traffic, and slammed into another barrier before toppling over and sliding a short distance.
Haschel would not comment about the investigation, nor would a spokeswoman with the district attorney’s office.
Two people died and more than 40 others were injured in the immediate aftermath. A third passenger died a few days later from her injuries.
A preliminary investigation found no defect with the bus, but instead an error by the driver, Loyd Rieve. Authorities said Rieve, 65, failed to maintain his lane.
Rieve and two passengers were ejected while a third passenger was partially ejected, the report found.
Alice Stanley, 82, Paula Hahn, 69, and Sue Taylor, 81, were killed in the crash. The other 44 passengers sustained various injuries. Taylor, known as "Casino Sue," organized trips to casinos across Oklahoma and Mississippi, complete with treats for riders and prizes for the biggest loser.
Rieve has dodged similar charges before.
Court records show Rieve was driving for another company in 1998 when he struck and killed a man who was trying to render aid at an accident scene on a highway near Dallas. A Dallas County grand jury declined to indict Rieve on a charge of negligent homicide stemming from the collision.
Rieve and his employer still faced two civil lawsuits claiming they were negligent.
One lawsuit, filed by the family of the man who was killed, resulted in a jury finding Central West Motor Stages Inc. of Grand Prairie negligent for employing Rieve. However, the jury awarded no damages, deciding the Samaritan, 22-year-old Chad Rosell of Detroit Lakes, Minn., was largely at fault.