Train crash survivors file lawsuits

Train crash survivors file lawsuits
The crash happened at Main Street in Biloxi. (Photo source: WLOX News)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Survivors of Tuesday's deadly crash involving a CSX train and charter bus are beginning to file lawsuits seeking damages for the physical and emotional injuries sustained in the collision.

Darwyn and Marie Hanna are seeking $1 million. Their lawsuit says they have and will continue to suffer because of gross negligence on the part of Echo Tours and Charters, CSX Transportation, and Echo's owner, TBL Group.

This lawsuit comes on the heels of another lawsuit filed by the son of a couple killed in the crash.

The lawsuit alleges CSX failed to properly design and maintain the "extra hazardous" humped crossing the bus got stuck on. The document says the bus was stuck on the tracks for about five minutes before it was hit, and the CSX train failed to apply its brakes in time to avoid the collision.

NTSB: Biloxi railroad crossing particularly a concern to us

The lawsuit also claims the driver of the bus, which was owned and operated by Echo Tours, ignored signs warning of the humped crossing and put passengers at risk by attempting to cross it. The documents claim the driver also failed to alert CSX that the bus was stuck on the tracks.

Survivors Starr and Jimmy Waneck have also filed suit against the railroad and bus companies, but their lawsuit also names the driver of the bus as a defendant.

The driver is identified only as "John Doe" in the document, which was filed in Harrison County Circuit Court on Friday.

The Waneck's lawsuit makes many of the same allegations found in the Hanna's lawsuit, but it also argues some new ones.

The Waneck's lawsuit claims CSX failed to comply with federally mandated railroad safety measures. It also alleges the company violated its own policies regarding train operation and track maintenance at the "extra-hazardous" crossing.

The suit claims the bus driver failed to notify CSX the bus was stuck on the tracks in a timely manner. It also claims the driver ignored railroad signs and signals at the crossing.

The attorneys representing the Hannas and Wanecks are requesting trials by jury in their respective cases.

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