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Disney bus driver awarded nearly $1 million after crash

Leah Zanolla | Posted: Nov 17, 2013 | Updated: Oct 19, 2014 - 9:25:27 AM
A Disney bus driver involved in an accident three and a half years ago has been awarded nearly $1 million by a jury. On March 23, 2010, Jean Valentin, 47, was traveling at 35 miles per hour on Epcot Center Drive when his bus crashed into the back of an empty tour bus that had stopped in the middle of the road. Valentin's legs were crushed in the accident and he has been unable to work since.

At the time of the crash, Valentin was cited for careless driving. The jurors in this trial awarded him $970,000 for his injuries, though they still found him partially at fault for the crash. They decided that the driver of the other bus, Deborah Martin, was also at fault for stopping her bus in the road. She testified that she had noticed a "possible mechanical problem" with her bus, so she had stopped to check on it and was outside the bus at the time of the crash. Valentin's lawyer, Sean Domnick, said, "It was crazy for her to stop in a moving lane of traffic for no good reason" and that she should have pulled into a parking lot to check on the problem.

Seven passengers on Valentin's bus were transferred to nearby medical centers with "minor injuries." Valentin was pinned under the steering wheel and was flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center in critical condition after rescue workers freed him. He had been a Disney bus driver for 10 years before the accident.

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