The mother of a Vancouver, Wash., teen who was killed when she was hit by a charter bus in Portland, Ore., last month is suing the bus driver and his employer, claiming excessive work, fatigue, and carelessness played a role in the girl’s death.
Monserrat Hernandez Garcia, 18, was “just three days away from graduating high school” when “this preventable bus crash took her life,” an attorney for the teen’s mother, Maria Del Carmen Hernandez, told Vancouver, Washington’s The Columbian.
On June 8, Ms. Hernandez Garcia was walking to her job at Bridgeport Brewing in Portland’s Pearl District just before 4 p.m. She was hit by a bus belonging to Seattle-based MTR Western LLC as she was crossing NW 6th Ave. in a designated crosswalk with an illuminated walking signal.
Mrs. Hernandez’s lawyer said that Ms. Garcia, a senior at Vancouver’s Hudson Bay High School, had planned to become a nurse after graduation.
Mrs. Hernandez filed the lawsuit last week in Multnomah County Circuit Court seeking $5 million from driver Charles Start, 68, and MTR Western. The teen’s mother alleges MTR overworked Mr. Start, saying that the bus company made him “operate the bus an excessive number of hours without proper rest,” which caused Mr. Start to drive the charter bus in “a careless manner.”
According to The Columbian, Mrs. Hernandez’s lawyer represented the families of two young women who were struck and killed by a TriMet bus in 2010, just one block from where Ms. Hernandez Garcia was killed. That wrongful-death lawsuit ended in a settlement between the parties, with the bus company and manufacturer agreeing to pay $4 million to the women’s families.
Mrs. Hernandez seeks $3.5 million in economic damages and $1.5 million in other damages, The Columbian reported.