Insurers talking about bus-tractor wreck |

Insurers talking about bus-tractor wreck

The insurance companies representing the parties in an accident between a bus and tractor are exploring if an agreement can be reached on liability so the passengers can be assisted with medical expenses and other losses, according to the attorney for Roaring Fork Transportation Authority.

Attorney Paul Taddune said RFTA’s insurer, Onebeacon, has contacted State Farm, the insurer for the driver of the tractor, and American Family, the insurer for the owner of the tractor about the Oct. 26 accident.

The goal is to negotiate liability rather than going to a potentially time-consuming and expensive trial, Taddune said. “What we’d like to do is frontload it and try to resolve it,” he said.

A RFTA bus was westbound on the night of Oct. 26 when it encountered a tractor pulling a mower on Highway 82 about 1 mile west of El Jebel. Both vehicles were in the right lane, according to the Colorado State Patrol accident report. The bus driver swerved into the left lane, ventured into the median, steered back into the highway and rolled after hitting a concrete barrier, the report said.

The bus driver wasn’t ticketed. The tractor driver was ticketed for failing to have a slow-moving vehicle emblem properly displayed.

Eleven passengers were on the bus. Three riders had serious injuries while eight had moderate injuries, according to the state patrol.

Taddune said nine of the 11 passengers have filed notices with RFTA that they might file lawsuits over the accident. The Colorado Governmental Immunity Act requires the notices within six months of an incident, he said. There is a question about whether the lawsuits must be filed within two or three years of the accident, he added.

The immunity act limits liability, if any, to $990,000 for the entire incident and $350,000 to any individual, according to Taddune.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User