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Last August 9th, a bus carrying tourists destined for Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah left Interstate 15 near Cedar City and rolled. Three passengers died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident and eleven others were injured.

The family of a young man killed in the accident, injured survivors of the accident themselves, have filed suit to hold the driver and two travel companies accountable for the death of 20-year-old Hiroki Hayase of Japan. The suit alleges that the driver, who had less than two months of commercial driving experience, was fatigued and that he was trying to mask it with energy drinks and caffeine infused gum. He fell asleep at the wheel despite his efforts to stay awake.

The suit names the driver, Yasushi Mikuni, and two Utah companies, Canyon Transportation, Inc. and Western Leisure, Inc. alleging they hired the inexperienced driver and for not having required levels of liability insurance. The Japanese travel company that initiated the tour and coordinated with the Utah companies, was also named as a defendant because their due diligence was not done to ensure that all proper insurance was in place. Let’s hope the family finds some accountability and closure for the loss of their son and brother.

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