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I-Team 10 Update: Bus driver involved in fatal thruway crash sues

Posted at: 09/26/2012 1:37 PM
Updated at: 09/26/2012 1:39 PM
By: Brett Davidsen

The driver of a tour bus involved in a fiery crash with a tractor trailer on the New York State Thruway last year has filed a lawsuit, claiming he has suffered permanent injuries as a result of the collision.   
   
Rene Bisson, 61 of Ontario, Canada and his wife filed the suit in federal court against the estate of the trucker who died in the crash, as well as the manufacturer of the bus he was driving.

The bus was full of Canadian tourists on their way to New York City in July 2011 and had pulled over on the side of the thruway in Junius, Seneca County, after the bus experienced emissions problems.

When Bisson tried to re-enter traffic, the bus was slammed into by the eastbound truck, causing an immediate explosion and inferno.

The driver of the truck, Timothy Hume, 59, of Michigan, died at the scene. None of the bus passengers was fatally injured.

In his court papers, Bisson argues Hume acted negligently and should have seen the bus a half mile before the impact of the crash, failed to slow down or stop, and never applied his brakes. The lawsuit also names as a defendant the trucking company Hume worked for, Matrix Expedited Service.

The bus manufacturer, Daimler Buses of North America and its subsidiary Setra of North America are also named as defendants. So is Tarten Equipment, which did maintenance on the bus prior to the accident.

In his complaint, Bisson says he has "sustained serious and permanent personal injuries, disability, loss of enjoyment of life, an inability to return to work as a bus driver, a diminution in his earning potential for the remainder of his work life expectancy, permanent disability, conscious pain and suffering, medical expenses and other expenses."

Bisson and his wife are suing for $3.2 million.

Hume's widow has filed a separate lawsuit against Bisson and the tour bus company, Farr's Coach Lines.

Bisson was cited after the crash by police for driving with a suspended license. Bisson's license was valid in Canada but had been suspended in New York State after he failed to pay fees related to a couple speeding tickets. Bisson has said he didn't realize his license was not valid.

There is no mention of the license suspension in Bisson's lawsuit.