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Family settles with tour bus company after fatal Chicago accident

A tour bus company recently settled with a family whose daughter was killed after being hit by a tour bus in a North Side community area of Chicago. The company ended up settling for $6.75 million and the tour bus driver is currently behind bars awaiting trial for this accident and other unrelated charges.

The fatal accident happened in 2011. The 26-year-old was on her way home from work, walking in a crosswalk with the right of way when the bus made a right turn and ran her over. The driver of the bus said he did not see the woman in the crosswalk.

After the crash, the tour bus driver tested positive for having cocaine in his system. A check of his records also showed he was wanted in relation to two child-sex cases. He was put behind bars where he is awaiting trial for one count of reckless homicide, as well as two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. 

Before the crash, the bus driver had 20 traffic violations on his record from 1988 to 2008. However, regardless of this high number of violations on his record, he had been working for the tour bus company for about six months at the time of the crash. 

Looking to the future, while there is nothing that can take back what happened, her family is planning on pushing for "Justyna's law." This law would attempt to stop those convicted of sex crimes from driving tour buses. 

Additionally, a scholarship will be set up in the 26-year-old's name at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Through 2022 the tour bus company who employed the driver will be helping to pay for that scholarship.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "$6.75M settlement in fatal tour bus accident," Ellen Jean Hirst, Aug. 29, 2013

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