Settlement reached in I-90 bus crash - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Settlement reached in I-90 bus crash


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- According to a medical expert, the driver behind the wheel of the bus in a deadly accident on I-90 had fallen asleep because of untreated sleep apnea, and did not have a sudden medical emergency as previously thought.

Two people were killed in crash on Nov. 18 2009, and 15 others hurt.  The Strain Bus Company of Rochester was running a trip to Diamond Jo Casino, when it ran off the road between Albert Lea and Rochester.

Thursday, 17 of the 22 passengers reached a settlement at mediation for $3.25 million.

The driver, Edwin Erickson of Plainview, had been diagnosed with severe positional sleep apnea in 2001 at Mayo, but declined treatment.

According to a joint news release from Suk Law Firm, Patterson Dahlberg Law Firm and TSR Injury Law (Minneapolis), "Three passengers claimed to have witnessed Erickson nodding, bobbing and shaking his head, as if falling asleep, for up to a minute or two before the crash on the way back from the casino.  Medical evidence presented in the Court proceedings show an aneurysm was ruled out by Mayo."

An accident reconstructionist stated that if Erickson braked for as little as .7 seconds (long enough to deactivate the cruise control) the bus would have lost speed quickly enough that it would have been stopped or barely moving when it reached the embankment.




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