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Kansas troopers concentrate on bus passenger's fall to death

The mother of a 5 1/2 -week-old baby was killed in a recent Kansas City accident when she fell from a rented bus. Among the witnesses to the fatal accident were 16 of the victim's friends who had rented a Ford Econoline bus for a Saturday night bachelorette party.

Kansas State Highway Patrol said the bus was traveling along Interstate 35 when the woman fell out of an emergency door. The victim was pronounced dead from fatal accident injuries after being struck by three vehicles. None of the buses other occupants was harmed.

Only one of the three vehicles that struck the woman stopped at the scene. The driver was a 40-year-old local resident in a pickup truck.

The victim's family said the young mother was in a positive place in her life. The recently-engaged woman was making plans to marry her new baby's father.

Police identified the bus driver as a 49-year-old Basehor woman. She heads the transportation department for the Bonner Springs-Edwardsville School District.

Troopers continued to examine the accident scene days after the fatal accident. Authorities and the victim's family and friends want to know what caused the bus passenger to fall.

Investigators may be wondering how easy or difficult it was for a bus passenger to open or loosen the emergency door. Did the victim accidentally jar or push the door or was the door improperly closed? Civil and possible criminal charges might hinge on the answer.

The victim left behind a minor child who could benefit from damages in a wrongful death claim. Negligent defendants might include the bus driver, the Ford owner and possibly the drivers of the vehicles that struck the woman.

A damage award would take into account the victim's pain and suffering, the deprivation of the mother's companionship, support, and immediate and long-term economic losses.

Source:  kansascity.com, "Party bus accident abruptly ends vibrant life" Judy L. Thomas and Robert A. Cronkleton, May. 05, 2013

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