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AZ Law Firm Hired to Handle UT Ski Bus Case

  Law Firm News  -   POSTED: 2008/01/11 17:16

A Scottsdale law firm announced Thursday that it is representing two families who suffered injuries and one death Jan. 6 after a ski bus rolled 41 feet down an embankment in southern Utah.

Nine died and 23 were injured in the accident near Mexican Hat, Utah.

The Rasmussen and Torres families have hired Scott A. Maasenand Jeffry R.Gill of M.G. Law Group, a personal injury firm specializing in trucking and bus cases.

Marc Rasmussen, an 18-year-old Deer Valley High School senior, died in the wreckage. His mother, Kim, and four other family members, including a 5-year-old boy, were injured.

Some family members have been released, but Kim remains hospitalized in the San Juan Regional Hospital in Farmington, N.M.

The firm also represents the family of Daniel Torres, 18, Willow Canyon High School student in Surprise.

Maasen said friends of the victims contacted his firm this week. He began interviewing them Tuesday.

He said it is too early to say whether the families will file a lawsuit against Arrow Stage Lines, the Nebraska-based motor coach company contracted to take 17 busloads of skiers to and from Telluride, Colo., for a three-day ski trip Jan.3-6.

"That is the last thing on the victim's minds," Maasen said of a lawsuit. "What is on their minds is getting better and healing."

The National Transportation Safety Board and Utah Highway Patrol are conducting an investigation into the cause of the Jan. 6 accident on State Route 163, near Mexican Hat in southern Utah.

The investigation includes analysis of a "data collector" on board the bus that logs speed at the time of the accident, its exact position on the high desert highway, and records video of the driver.

A Utah Highway patrolman who investigated the accident said the driver, Walland Lotan, 71, was driving at the 65 mph speed limit when he rounded a tight curve, plunging the 52 passengers into the embankment. But Sgt. Rick Eldredge said the driver should have slowed by several miles an hour as he approached the curve.

Maasen said his firm is doing its own probe of the deadly wreck.

"There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle," he said. "We want to know why this happened."

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