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Kansas father of 3 dies in Wichita pileup over disabled bus

A Beechcraft employee lost his life on the way home from work when the vehicle he was driving was struck and shoved into a tractor trailer. Accident investigators said the midnight auto accident would never have happened if another driver had moved a disabled bus.

Wichita troopers said the 60-year-old victim was the second driver to respond to a school bus blocking part of the southbound Kansas Turnpike. A tractor-trailer was the first vehicle to approach the bus. The semi-truck driver was able to brake and shift left to avoid a collision, but not before a car struck the truck's rear axle.

The man who died was in a second vehicle, which was rear-ended and propelled into the back of the semi-truck. No one else was injured in the crash.

Investigators concentrated on why the school bus had been blocking the highway. Apparently, two drivers were traveling together following an auction where they purchased four school buses. Each man drove a school bus and, using shoddy hitches, towed a second one.

The drivers were in Wichita when one of the towed buses developed a flat tire. The 45-year-old driver unhitched the disabled bus and left it in the road. Police said the man then drove the intact bus against the direction of traffic to park the vehicle in front of the broken down vehicle.

Police have not been able to explain why the driver did not move the bus with the flat off the turnpike. The Mexican national was arrested and booked for involuntary manslaughter and multiple traffic offenses. The unlicensed second bus driver was also taken into custody.

An attorney may find it difficult to add up all the separate acts of alleged negligence. Everything the suspect reportedly did showed reckless disregard for other human beings. A civil jury likely would have no problem awarding damages to the victim's family for a wrongful death claim.

Source: kake.com, "UPDATE: 2 Arrested After Fatal Crash Involving School Buses," March 20, 2013

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