Bus crash passenger files suit


Less than a week after a Megabus overturned on Interstate 65 north of Seymour, one of the passengers has filed a lawsuit.

Dyrell Lee of Hamilton, Georgia, filed the lawsuit last week against Coach Leasing Inc., Coach U.S.A. Inc., Megabus Southeast LLC and Megabus U.S.A. LLC in Cook County Circuit Court.

Chicago attorney Tom Zimmerman, who is representing Lee, said the woman is suing due to the personal injuries sustained during the crash, which resulted in financial damages including medical bills and lost wages.

Sean Hughes, spokesman for Megabus, said Monday the company has not been served with the lawsuit, so he couldn’t comment on something he hasn’t seen.

The wreck caused Lee to have a separated shoulder, concussion, bruising and cuts, Zimmerman said.

On Monday, he said an emergency motion for a protective order was granted in Cook County Circuit Court to preserve evidence from the crash. That includes the double-deck bus and the data recorders on it.

“This is so it won’t be destroyed or altered and

experts can inspect it,”

Zimmerman said.

The wreck was reported at 5:26 a.m. Dec. 20 and occurred just north of the Jonesville exit in Seymour. There were about 70 passengers on board the bus, which was heading southbound.

No life-threatening injuries were reported although 26 passengers sought medical treatment at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour.

Police said the bus driver, Christopher Kelley, 50, of Olympia Fields, Illinois, was driving south in the left lane of the interstate and was moving into the right lane when he lost control.

The Megabus had left Chicago at about midnight and stopped in Indianapolis before continuing, with planned stops in Louisville, Kentucky, and Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

There was light snow at the time, and the temperature was below freezing. The bus slid off the road and into a grassy median before turning over onto the driver’s side, according to police.

Passengers and emergency personnel helped everyone get off the bus, and the injured were taken to Schneck. The uninjured were taken to Seymour Middle School, where the Red Cross set up food and drinks before the passengers caught a later Megabus to continue their travels.

Police said some of the passengers came from the Chicago area and others were from Atlanta. Many said they were on their way to visit family for the holidays.

Zimmerman is also representing passengers from a separate Megabus accident that occurred Oct. 14 on I-65 in Greenwood. Non-life-threatening injuries occurred in that wreck, and those suing blame negligence of Megabus because of alleged mechanical issues.

Allegations in a civil lawsuit are the opinion of the person filing and can be refuted in court.

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