Two Big Rig Trucks Collide Then Hit A Disabled Church Bus

The bus did not have an operating gas gauge and once it ran out of gas, the decedent pulled the bus over to the shoulder area. Diesel fuel was obtained and was put into the vehicle and the decedent was on the driver's side of the bus priming the diesel engine to get it started. Defendant Triple E Produce was southbound on Highway 99 traveling at 55 mph. He observed the disabled bus and the decedent working on the side of the bus and intended to move from the right-hand lane to the passing lane. He looked in his rearview mirror and observed defendant Logos Group in the passing lane starting a passing maneuver of his last trailer. Defendant Triple E then moved over as far as he could in the right-hand lane toward the center line in an effort to give the decedent and the bus as much room as possible. Defendant Logos said he never observed this movement or any other type of warning from Triple E. The two vehicles contacted each other with the tractor of the Logos Group truck coming into contact with the rear trailer of the Triple E Produce vehicle. This caused the two vehicles to become entangled with the rear trailer swinging out to the right and striking the bus and Mr. Haen, killing him instantly.

The jury awarded $6,770,230 to the decedent's wife and parents and $514,080 to decedent's nephew who observed the death of his uncle.

The pretrial offer before trial was a combined $2.75 million from both defendants.