March 31, 2016
Greyhound just lost a lawsuit brought against them by five bus passengers who were injured when their driver fell asleep at the wheel and crashed the bus. In September of 2013, driver Dwayne Garrett was leaving Cincinnati, OH with his bus at 3:00 a.m. But the bus didn’t get very far out of the city before Garrett passed out at the wheel, leading to the bus rolling over into a cornfield north of State Route 129. Out of 51 passengers, 37 were injured, sustaining neck and back injuries as well as compound fractures, and 15 had to go to the hospital for treatment.
Although Garrett had told highway patrol officers at the time that he had passed out after choking while drinking his coffee, a court-ordered sleep study conducted in 2015 showed that he actually has moderate to severe sleep apnea. This condition causes people to be overtired even after a night’s sleep because they can’t breathe properly while sleeping, causing repeated sleep disruptions. It is known to be a contributing factor in motor vehicle accidents because being overtired can cause drivers to be inattentive or even, as was the case with Garrett, fall asleep completely while driving, losing control of their vehicles.
The five plaintiffs in this lawsuit won a total of $6 million in this case, which clearly illustrates the dangers of driving while exhausted.