Suits in fatal 2006 Huntsville bus crash settled

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Several lawsuits have been settled over a Huntsville school bus crash that killed four high school students and left dozens injured two years ago.

Montgomery attorney Jere Beasley said Wednesday that settlements were reached in all of the death cases but a few suits filed over minor injuries were still pending.

Beasley's firm represented the family of Nicole Ford, a 19-year-old who was killed in the Nov. 20, 2006 crash.

He said the cases were settled Tuesday evening after a day of mediation.

Defendants included Laidlaw Transit Inc., the school bus driver and the driver of a passenger car that was involved in the crash.

"The safety of children riding as passengers on school buses must be a top priority for those who are in charge of our schools and for those who own and operate school buses," said attorney Kendall Dunson. "This tragic incident resulted in the loss of innocent lives. Hopefully, the Alabama Legislature will take the necessary action to require all bus manufacturers to equip school buses with seat belts for passengers."

The bus was carrying 40 Lee High students when it made contact with the passenger car and careened off an Interstate overpass. Four students including Ford were killed in the crash, and many others were injured.

Terms of the settlement and the amounts awarded were not released.

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