Man sues after wife was killed in school bus accident

By Drew Smith | Feb 16, 2006

HUNTINGTON – A Cabell County man is suing four auto manufacturers after his wife was killed when a school bus backed over her in February 2004.

HUNTINGTON – A Cabell County man is suing four auto manufacturers after his wife was killed when a school bus backed over her in February 2004.

In a suit filed Feb. 1, John C. Thompson, husband of Melissa Sue Thompson, claims his wife's death was the direct result of a lack of a reverse warning.

The incident occurred on Feb. 2, 2004, when Thompson, a school bus driver in Wayne County, was walking toward her bus in the Wayne transportation lot and was struck and killed by a school bus.

Thompson was 10 to 20 feet behind the rear of the bus, and her death was caused when the mechanized pressure switch located on the transmission failed to properly activate the back up or reverse warning lights and alarm, according to the suit.

The vehicle was a 1997 Blue Bird Model 385 International School Bus.

John C. Thompson is suing Navistar International, Blue Bird and R. F. Steiner for negligence because the companies were engaged in the manufacturing, marketing and distributing its commercial vehicle chassis to school bus suppliers throughout the United States.

He is also suing Allison Transmission for negligence because the company manufactured and distributed the faulty transmission.

Thompson is seeking compensatory damages to cover loss of companionship and consortium, funeral expenses, medical care and expenses, mental anguish and the reasonable value loss of his wife's financial support.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 06-C-72

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