Families file lawsuit over 2014 softball team bus crash

The families of softball players killed in a bus accident are suing the bus manufacturer, claiming the vehicle was unsafe and defective.

The crash in 2014 killed four members of the softball team from North Central Texas College. The bus they were on was headed back to the Gainesville campus when a semi-truck crossed the center median and sideswiped them.

Parents of three of the students killed in the crash went to Dallas on Wednesday to see the bus their daughters died in for the first time.

“Seeing what it's made of — the foam, the plywood — that our daughters actually rode in is unbelievable,” said Misty Woodlee, Katelynn’s mother.

"Had I known what I know now, my daughter would've never been in this,” said Keith Pelton, Jaiden’s father.

Lawyer Todd Tracy is suing Champion Bus Inc., the manufacturer of the midsize passenger bus, claiming it is not crashworthy and poorly constructed.

“The reason for people died was because they were ejected because the whole side structure peeled away,” the lawyer said. “When you look at this vehicle, it's made of cardboard. It's made of foam, and it's made of one and a half inch quarter tubing."

“And I don't know anything about safety and rules and regulations, but I can't imagine that being something they call safe,” said Keith.

"We can't get our daughters back, but I want positive to come from this however it may,” said Christie, Jaiden’s mother. “Building a better, safer bus is a start."

A Champion Bus spokesperson said the bus met all NTSB safety requirements and dispute all of the claims in the lawsuit.

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