Relatives Of 16 Bluffton Bus Crash Victims File Georgia Claims

Friday, October 19th 2007, 10:21 am
By: News On 6

ATLANTA (AP) _ Georgia officials said today that relatives of 16 Bluffton University baseball players injured or killed after the team's bus plunged off a highway overpass in March have filed notices that they may sue the state of Georgia over the accident.

Relatives of 13 players injured and three who were killed in the March 2 accident are filing claims under the State Torts Claim Act, the Georgia Department of Transportation said today in a response to a state Open Records Act request filed by The Associated Press.

Transportation spokesman David Spear says the notices are required by state law before lawsuits may be filed against the state of Georgia or its departments but do not necessarily mean the families will sue the state.

He says that under Georgia law, the state has a maximum liability of $3 million for the crash.

The bus carrying the Ohio team crashed after it went up a left-lane exit ramp that stops on a bridge over Interstate 75 in Atlanta.

The bus went off the overpass, killing five players, the driver and the driver's wife. Twenty-eight others were hurt.

Investigators previously said the driver apparently mistook the exit ramp for a highway lane, but National Transportation Safety Board has not made any finding on the crash's cause.

NTSB spokeswoman Bridget Serchak says the board's final accident report is expected next spring.

Last month, Geneva Ann Williams, the mother of 19-year-old Tyler Williams who was killed in the crash, filed a lawsuit against the university, the company that made the bus, the city of Atlanta and the company that provided the bus and drivers for Bluffton's team.

The baseball team was traveling to Florida for a spring tournament.