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Chinese tourists sue Utah over fatal tour bus crash

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Chinese tourists and their families killed or injured in a 2019 tour bus crash said in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday that the state’s design and maintenance failed to ensure the safety of a remote highway.

The lawsuit alleges the state failed to post warning signs, had a road design that left little room for error, and included no rough stripes to warn drivers that they were approaching the road. edge.

More than a dozen people were thrown from the bus after the driver drifted off the road and suffered excessive correction when he turned around, causing the bus to overturn.

The lawsuit said the unpaved shoulder was too deep and too soft, forcing the driver to steer harder to get back on the road after crossing a too narrow buffer zone. It had been repaved the day before, creating a dangerous contrast to the rough shoulder, according to the lawsuit.

The Utah Department of Transportation declined to comment on the case filed against him and several contractors, citing its policy on pending litigation. The National Transportation Safety Board had previously determined that road design, signage and other features were not factors in the crash.

Four people in their 60s died in the crash and several others were seriously injured. The group of older adults from China were on a seven-day tour organized by America Shengjia Inc., a coach company based in Ontario, California. The tour started in Los Angeles and was scheduled to end in Salt Lake City.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages to compensate for lost wages, medical bills and emotional suffering. It was first reported by KUTV in Salt Lake City.

The bus crashed a few miles into Bryce Canyon National Park, known for its intricately shaped red rock spiers called hoodoos.

The NTSB investigation found that a lack of safety standards for the roofs and windows of buses contributed to the death toll and injury. Its final report, released in June, also cited inconsistent seat belt use and recommended a lane departure warning system for commercial buses.

The report ruled out driver problems like intoxication or speeding. An earlier report had revealed that the bus was having problems starting earlier today, but a closer examination did not reveal any mechanical issues or other malfunctions, he said.

The driver had told investigators the road was “slippery” and newly paved at the time, but tests showed normal friction, the report said.