‘Exhausted’ school bus driver who killed woman in SE Portland crosswalk spurs $8.7 million suit

Source: Aimee Green, Oregonian, July 6, 2015

The estate of a 43-year-old woman fatally run over in a crosswalk by a school bus filed an $8.7 million lawsuit Monday against the First Student bus company and the West Linn-Wilsonville School District. The lawsuit claims that the bus driver was exhausted and that contributed to the deadly Southeast Portland crash. … The suit claims that the school bus “suddenly and without warning” pulled forward and made a right turn into the couple, according to the suit. …Renee Bates died about an hour after the early afternoon crash, according to the suit. The bus hit Shawn Bates with a “glancing blow,” but he was able to stay by his wife’s side in the ambulance and the hospital until she died, the suit states. … Shawn Bates died about four months later from cancer, according to the suit. The couple’s only child, then 11, was orphaned. The suit seeks damages for the sole beneficiary of the estate, the couple’s son, who is now almost 13. In addition to First Student and the school district, which had hired the bus company, the suit lists driver Billie Jean Neel as a defendant. Neel lived in Gladstone and was 55 at the time of the crash. Neel was convicted of careless driving, a violation. As part of a plea agreement, she was ordered to complete a high-risk driving course and 100 hours of community service. …
Related:
Woman is struck and injured by school bus in Southeast Portland
Source: Stuart Tomlinson, Oregonian, July 9, 2013

A woman was struck and injured by a school bus in Southeast Portland Tuesday. Sgt. Pete Simpson, spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau, said the woman and her husband were crossing from the Northwest corner of the intersection of Southeast 148th Avenue and Division when the school bus ran into them at around 1:08 p.m. The woman suffered traumatic injuries and was taken to a Portland hospital for treatment; her husband was also struck by the bus, but did not require medical treatment, Simpson said. …