A federal investigation found that the Texas Department of Transportation failed to properly maintain a guardrail, which gave way in a 2015 accident, causing the deaths of two students. The accident occurred in September 2015, when a Houston school bus that was hit by another vehicle broke through the guardrail on the bridge of an I-610 overpass. The bus fell off the overpass, killing two students and injuring others.
The National Transportation Safety Board investigation did not list the guardrail as a contributing factor to the accident, but did note that it was not properly repaired in the past and there was poor record keeping. The investigators found that there had been a previous severe impact to the bridge rail in the same location as the crash, but it could not determine when the previous impact occurred because of bad records. The investigators also found that repair mortar used to fix the guardrail in the past was inferior in quality, and that bolts that were previously damaged in an accident were reused rather than replaced.
In addition to the damages to the guardrail, the guardrail in place was designed in 1970, and was not rated to absorb the impact of a bus at highway speed. However, it’s also not certain if a new guardrail in good condition could have kept the bus from plummeting off the bridge. It is also unclear how many other overpasses may have had substandard repairs done after accidents.
It’s a tragedy that two students lost their lives in an accident that may not have been so serious if proper repairs had been made to the guardrails. If you have been involved in an accident in which another party was negligent, call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 855-947-0707. We can help. You have a legal right to compensation. Call us today or visit us on Facebook.