A school bus driver was tragically killed in a crash with a garbage dump truck in Waxhaw, North Carolina. The dump truck driver has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle.

The school bus was traveling on New Town Road in Waxhaw when the dump truck, traveling westbound on New Town Road, crossed the center line and hit the bus head-on. Even though the bus driver was wearing a seat belt, he was ejected from the bus, according to the North Carolina State Patrol.

The crash happened at a curve in the road where the speed limit is 35 mpg.

The investigation will look at:

  • the speed of the dump truck
  • whether the truck driver was distracted or under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • whether the truck driver was licensed to drive the truck
  • the driving history of the truck driver
  • whether the truck driver’s employer, Mercado Construction Clean Up, Inc., was aware of or should have been aware of any information that would have suggested the truck driver was not competent.
  • whether a defect in the seat belt mechanisms prevented Mr. McManus from being ejected.

A trucking company is generally legally responsible for crashes caused by a driver employed by the company and accidents caused by a driver of one of the company’s trucks. In this case, it appears the company employed the driver and owned the truck.

In most cases the owner of the haul is also liable. So the company or companies responsible for any construction garbage being hauled could also be sued for wrongful death compensation by the family.