A woman who was injured when a double-decker Megabus on its way from Chicago to St. Louis smashed into a concrete pillar is suing the bus line.
Yanxin “Amy” Zhou suffered injuries that left her “disabled and disfigured” in the accident near Litchfield last August, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court. The suit does not specify her injuries.
In the crash on Interstate 55, a University of Missouri graduate student, Aditi Avhad, 25, originally a dentist from Mumbai, India, died. The crash injured dozens of people, and four or five had to be extricated, including Avhad.
Zhou is also suing Coach USA, which owns and operates Megabus; Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, a tire manufacturer; and the rookie bus driver, Preston Taylor. The 25-year-old driver trainee suffered injuries to his foot and face that required multiple surgeries.
A front tire blew on the afternoon of Aug. 2, 2012, and the bus careened out of control. Illinois State Police praised Taylor for not slamming on the breaks or steering in a way that would have caused the two-level bus to tip over.
“When I heard the tire pop, I immediately grabbed hold extra tight to the steering wheel and let go of the accelerator,” Taylor told a Tribune reporter at the time. “But I did not apply the brakes because I knew at highway speed it likely would have caused the bus to roll over.”
The week after the accident, a Megabus in downtown Chicago struck and killed 76-year-old Donna Halstead, a former secretary for now-deceased Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Ann McMorrow.
Megabus operates routes in the eastern and central United States and is known for selling tickets for as little as $1. It’s also known to pick up customers on the side of the street instead of at a depot.
Megabus settled a suit for $5.1 million days after both fatal accidents last August with the family of a man who was struck and killed by one of the buses in 2010. The bus line did not admit wrongdoing in that settlement.
Zhou is asking for $50,000 in compensation for rehabilitation costs and emotional distress and the costs of the suit.