NTSB: Main St. was not on planned route for bus involved in train crash

NTSB: Main St. was not on planned route for bus involved in train crash

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The driver of the charter bus involved in Tuesday's deadly train crash did not follow the directions he was given to get to Boomtown Casino. That's according to NTSB Board Member Robert Sumwalt, who gave a briefing on the investigative team's work in Biloxi.

Sumwalt said there were actually three buses transporting passengers from Bay St. Louis to Biloxi as part of a tour organized by Diamond Tours. All three buses were set to leave around the same time and travel to Boomtown Casino Tuesday afternoon. Only one of the buses was operated by Echo Tours, and that was the one involved in the deadly accident.

All three bus drivers received directions that sent them up Caillavet St., not Main St. Sumwalt said the Echo bus didn't follow those directions, and instead used a GPS set for commercial vehicle use.

NTSB investigators on Thursday did a sight distance test to determine at what point an obstruction on the tracks is identifiable to the people on the train? Sumwalt said there was clear visibility and no surprises.

An NTSB highway engineer is surveying the grade of the road and the geometry of the hump the bus got stuck on before Tuesday's crash.

The NTSB team still hasn't interviewed the bus driver, but investigators still expect to do so. They said they were very busy interviewing the train crew first.

The bus driver and the train crew members all took a drug test immediately after the crash.

The NTSB team will be in Biloxi through the beginning of next week.

Earlier Thursday, a Texas attorney announced he has filed a lawsuit in state court against the railroad, the bus company, and its unidentified driver. Attorney Mikal Watts is working for the son of Peggy Hoffman, one of the four crash victims. Another attorney, Broadus Spivey, is also suing separately for the heirs of Hoffman's husband, Ken.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday says CSX Transportation allowed "ultra hazardous" conditions at the crossing, and the Echo Transportation driver failed to follow traffic signs. Neither company responded immediately to requests for comment.

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