Archive for Sunday, November 2, 2008

Uncertainties cloud suit over fatal Cat Tracker accident

November 2, 2008


— The last time Kansas hosted Kansas State in football, the 2006 game was marred by a fatal accident involving the Cat Tracker bus, a modified Kansas State football fan bus.

A negligence lawsuit was filed last year in Douglas County after John Green, of Shawnee, was killed and Chris Orr, of Salina, was severely injured while they were riding through Lawrence on top of the modified bus on Nov. 18, 2006.

Both men hit their heads on an overpass and were knocked from the vehicle. Green died immediately, and Orr was hospitalized with brain injuries. Six other passengers ducked to avoid the 15-foot-high overpass. Orr continues to recover.

The customized bus is not affiliated with the university.

The lawsuit filed against the owners of the bus has not been resolved and no criminal lawsuit has been filed.

Green's wife, Samantha, filed a negligence lawsuit shortly after the accident on behalf of herself and her daughter, who was not yet born.

She claims the driver of the bus, Brent Simonsson, allowed passengers to ride on top of the bus and that there were no warning signs or barricades telling passengers not to climb to the top of the vehicle while it was moving.

One of the owners of the bus, Manhattan lawyer Robert Potroff, said after the accident there was a strict rule that no one was allowed to ride atop the bus while it was moving.

Cheryl Wright, assistant to the Douglas County Attorney, said the office has not filed any criminal action against any party involved in the case and has no plans to do so.

The statute of limitations on a negligence case such as this one is five years.


NotASquishHead 9 years, 7 months ago

Good to see the LJWorld is getting their news ideas from the KCStar (yesterday's edition) on articles from the Associated Press. You would think an article about Lawrence would have started with LJWorld.

oneflewover 9 years, 7 months ago

Samantha, your husband made a poor decision that unfortunately led to his death. He was not forced to ride on the top of the bus, he chose to. You do not deserve a single penny from anyone you money grubber! I truely am sorry about your bad luck however.

q_ball2kand1 9 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

somebodynew 9 years, 7 months ago

Hawk - as some perspective. Why is the bus driver to blame? As I recall, he was not licensed to drive (either suspended or not proper type), and he is supposed to be IN CHARGE. If there were (allegedly) rules about not riding up there, it was up to him to enforce them. That is not babysitting. And as driver, if he knew people were up there his job is very simple - quit driving until the idiots come down. If I am driving my personal car and one of my passengers suddenly decides to ride on the roof, I am stopping. (Then probably kicking some a**, but that is a different story.)

Branden Bell 9 years, 7 months ago

FYI - the statute of limitations for a criminal action is five years. There is no such thing as 'criminal negligence' in Kansas.The statute of limitations for a civil negligence action is two years.

somebodynew 9 years, 7 months ago

q_ While the sick part of me understands the humor in that comment, that is just bad......

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