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Fifth lawsuit filed after fatal Biloxi bus-train collision

A fifth lawsuit was filed Tuesday seeking at least $10 million after a train collided with a bus in Biloxi, Miss. last week, killing four people and injuring 35 others.

The suit was filed by Mary Hall, a surviving passenger of the March 7 crash, who lives in Bastrop County.

Hall is suing the bus company, Echo Transportation, the tour company, Diamond Tours, and the train’s parent company, CSX Transportation for negligence and gross negligence and is asking for no less than $10 million in damages for past and future pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical disfigurement and past and future medical expenses.

She was on board the charter bus when it got stuck on the tracks in Biloxi and was struck by a train.

Hall was rushed to the emergency room and given extensive medical treatment, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in Harris County by The Buzbee Law Firm in Houston.

“The results of this collision were horrific,” the suit said. “This railroad crossing was well known as a dangerous crossing and had been the cause of many previous accidents.”

The railroad crossing at Main Street in Biloxi is a known hazard for long vehicles due to elevation drops on either side of the tracks that can allow a bus to become high-centered atop the tracks. Sixteen other crashes have occurred at that spot since 1976, three of them fatal.

A sign before the crossing warns “Low Ground Clearance.”

Hall’s suit alleges that the driver was reckless for failing to heed the warning sign. The driver of the bus has not been named, but the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash, said he veered away from his intended route during the bus trip to the Boomtown Casino.

According to the lawsuit, he told passengers he was “taking them on a scenic route.”

About six people were still in the hospital Tuesday, a week after the crash, according to Barbara Adkins, president of the Bastrop Senior Center, which helped organize the bus trip.

Four other lawsuits were filed last week, including two by the families of Peggy and Kenneth Hoffman, a Lockhart couple killed in the crash, and two others by five surviving passengers.

Sealy resident Clinton Havran, 72, and Deborah Orr, 62, the activities director at the Bastrop senior center, also died in the crash.

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