Josh Turner Crew Members File Lawsuit After Fatal Bus Crash
Several crew members and the estate of the man killed when Josh Turner’s crew bus drove off a California highway last September have filed a lawsuit alleging wrongful death, negligent and defective design of the bus and negligent hiring.
David Turner (no relation) was killed on Sept. 18, 2019, when the bus left the road and plunged off a cliff before landing in a dry river bed.
The San Luis Obispo Tribune shares that the lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of money to cover burial costs, lost wages and other expenses. The defendants are the bus company All Access Coach Leasing, the driver Bradley Dratnol, and Turner’s management company, Modern Management. Among the complaints is that the bus company and management company should have known the vehicle was dangerous because it had no seatbelts for passengers. While the Tribune says two crew plus the estate of David Turner are suing, the late sound engineer's wife Jamie Henderson tells Taste of Country the total is actually three crew, plus the estate.
It’s not clear what caused Dratnol to leave the road, as the California Highway Patrol hasn’t shared its completed investigation. Six other members of Turner’s crew suffered moderate to major injuries, and Dratnol was also treated for injuries. Turner later updated his crew members' conditions by shared that all would face a long road to recovery. He and his management team also set up a GoFundMe for his crew and their families. So far, $50,000 has been raised.
David Turner (64) had been Josh Turner’s sound engineer for 14 years. “He was like a brother to so many in this industry and a devoted husband, father and grandfather,” the singer said at the time of the crash. “Please continue to keep David’s family in your prayers."
The Tribune article also reveals pertinent information about the road where the crash occurred. That section of Highway 46 is part of a stretch of highway known locally as “Blood Alley" because of a series of fatal accidents. It’s just miles from where actor James Dean was killed in 1955. The lawsuit claims that no attempt was made to brake, steer the bus back onto the road or correct its course, even after going over rumble strips, through a fence and over grass.
On the night of the crash, the California Fire Department in San Luis Obispo shared photos and more details about the accident. Turner had just played a show in nearby Pasa Robles, Calif.
This story has been updated to include new information provided to Taste of Country by David Turner's wife.
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