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Tenth anniversary of Atlanta bus crash

With the eyes of a proud dad, he watched his son play second base with skill and joy. From Little League to high school and on to Bluffton University, the son kept swinging a bat and flashing a glove. But these days, the early days of spring evoke grief for the father, who misses his son today as much as he did a decade ago when tragedy struck.

That is when the Bluffton University baseball team bus crashed through an interstate overpass onto I-75 below, just outside of Atlanta. Seven died in the bus crash that day, including David Betts, the man’s son. Twenty-eight others were injured in the wreck. 

“I’ve missed my son for the last 10 years,” John Betts said recently in an interview. “And I’m going to miss him for the next 30. That’s not going to change.”

The dad swore that he would do all he could to keep other kids from being taken so senselessly from their parents. It took him five years, but he kept his vow. Armed with grief, he lobbied members of Congress and eventually, through dogged determination, saw safety measures for motor coaches included in a 2012 bill signed into law by President Obama.

Among the safety measures: enhanced bus roof requirements, window-glazing to help prevent shattering and three-point passenger harnesses.

Though the provisions were passed and signed, some have still not been imposed on motor coach makers or on bus companies.

The president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety says there is no good reason not to require the approved changes to motor coaches that would bring buses closer to safety requirements for other vehicles. It’s “maddening,” she said.

She notes that in the decade since the Bluffton tragedy, there have been 170 bus crashes and fires. Nearly 250 people have lost their lives and another 2,500 suffered injuries.

A Georgia law firm experienced in motor coach accident litigation can help you pursue full, fair compensation and justice.


Tue Mar 7, 7:23pm

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