FORT WORTH (CBS 11 I-TEAM) – Depositions from a civil lawsuit filed against the bus driver involved in Thursday’s deadly bus crash in Irving, show the driver’s previous employer recommended firing him after several collisions, tickets and complaints.
The CBS 11 I-Team obtained court records showing 65-year-old Lloyd Rieve hit and killed Chad Rosell, while driving a bus in 1998. Rosell had stopped along I-35 in the early morning hours of January 31, to help Karen Bay. Her car had hit a retaining wall and she was lying down in a highway lane. Rieve drove up on the scene, traveling about 50 miles per hour, when his tour bus hit Rosell in the HOV lane, killing him. Rieve faced a negligent homicide charge for that accident, but was never indicted by the grand jury.
Rosell’s family filed a suit against Rieve and Central West Motor Stages. In a deposition of the company’s safety director, attorneys for Rosell’s family noted Rieve’s file contained records of as many as 16 collisions between 1992 and 1998, along with speeding tickets, complaints, and several suspensions. Rieve was recommended for termination, but the safety director said the company’s general manager decided to keep him.
Many of the collisions were minor, according to the deposition, including hitting light poles, tree limbs and a gate. There were complaints the he drove too fast, and was distracted.
Driving records show Rieve was cited for speeding two months after his bus hit Rosell. He was cited again in 2002.
Rosell’s mother, Annette Kienitz, said Friday she shocked to learn Rieve was involved in the fatal crash in Irving.
“I just hoped and prayed that he was no longer driving,” she said. “And I’m shocked. I don’t know how he could maintain a license.”
The Texas Department of Public Safety said on Friday that it is not any closer to figuring out what caused Thursday’s bus crash. At this time, investigators have not been able to talk to Rieve, who is in intensive care at Parkland Memorial Hospital.
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