Lawsuit filed in fatal Loudon bus crash
Hugh G. Willett knoxnews.com
LOUDON — The family of a Knoxville woman killed in a head-on collision with a Loudon County school bus in February has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the bus driver and the bus contractor.
The complaint, which seeks $6 million in damages, was filed in March in Loudon County Circuit Court by Cynthia Montooth’s mother, Donna Millsaps of Monroe County.
Montooth, 45, died Feb. 5 after her SUV collided head-on with the bus driven by Larry Harbin on U.S. Highway 11 near Calloway Road. Harbin and three Loudon High School students were injured.
The lawsuit contends Montooth was traveling southbound on U.S. 11 in the proper lane when the bus suddenly veered across the centerline and into her path.
A report by Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Alexander Evans lists Montooth’s SUV as the first to cross the centerline.
“The driver of (the bus) made an unsuccessful attempt to avoid” the SUV, Evans wrote.
Attorneys Randy Rogers and Jay Kohlbusch represent Montooth’s family. Rogers said photos taken at the crash scene show Montooth’s SUV was in the correct lane.
“If you look at the photos, it’s a very different story,” he said.
The results of routine drug and alcohol tests on both drivers have not yet been received, according to THP Lt. Bill Miller.
The lawsuit names Harbin and Scott Franks, owner of the bus, as defendants. Neither could be reached for comment.