SALT LAKE CITY — Family members and survivors of a 2019 tour bus crash near Bryce National Park that killed four people from China and injured dozens more are suing the state of Utah, claiming it didn't do enough to ensure a remote highway was safe, according to a report from the Associated Press (AP).
In a lawsuit filed on September 14, plaintiffs allege that state transportation officials failed to post warning signs, had a road design that left little room for error, and included no rumble strip to warn drivers they were getting close to the edge, reported the AP.
All 30 tourists aboard the bus were injured, with over a dozen thrown from the bus after the driver over-corrected his steering when he drifted off the road.
According to the AP, the lawsuit raises issues with the unpaved shoulder, which it alleges required the driver to steer harder to get back onto the road after passing through a too-narrow buffer zone. It also alleges that because the road had been repaved the day before, it created a dangerous contrast with the rough shoulder.
The Utah Department of Transportation did not offer a response to questions from the AP because of its policy not to comment on pending litigation. The National Transportation Safety Board found that highway design, signage and other characteristics were not factors in the crash in its investigation of the incident.
However, they did find found a lack of safety standards for bus roofs and windows contributed to the death and injury toll.
Those killed and injured were part of a tour of Chinese visitors on a seven-day tour operated by America Shengjia Inc., a tour bus company based in Ontario, California. The tour was set to end in Salt Lake City.
The Utah lawsuit seeks damages to make up for lost wages, medical bills and emotional suffering, according to the AP report.