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Family of Woman Killed in PACE Bus Crash Reached $13M Settlement

Family of Woman Killed in PACE Bus Crash Reached $13M Settlement

The family of a woman killed in the summer of 2021 when a driver fell asleep at the wheel and crashed has reached an agreement with PACE suburban bus.

Brenda Burse was a passenger on a Pace bus on August 15, 2021. The driver, Joe McKee, allegedly fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a tree, killing her. Burse’s family will receive $13 million in compensation for her death, which attorneys say could have been avoided. Loved ones say they hope the decision serves as a foundation for change.

“I’m looking forward to seeing that they take it very seriously when it comes to individual lives,” said Amelia Burse, the daughter of Brenda Burse. “Safety does matter, and a lot of rules and regulations should be changed for employees.”

Attorneys Marc Taxman and Sean Murray claim McGee had sleep apnea, which PACE and their subcontractor, SCR Medical Transportation, Inc. were aware of. Attorneys stated that McKee was still permitted to operate a PACE bus. There had been previously reported incidents concerning his ability to drive that should have kept him off the road.

“He had fallen asleep before behind the wheel on May 15, 2021, exactly three months before this tragic occurrence,” Taxman said. “During the three months that he was only suspended, not fired or disqualified, he was immediately put back on the road on July 21, 2021.”

According to Taxman, McKee returned to work without a system in place to monitor him. There was also no potential treatment made for his condition.

Taxman claims McKee called in sick on August 14th, the day before the fatal crash, claiming exhaustion, but then showed up to work the next day.

“He admitted to staying up into the late hours of Aug. 14, 2021, or early morning hours of August 15, 2021, partying,” Taxman said.

McKee admitted to police on the day of the crash that he had cocaine and alcohol in his system.

“If (PACE) had followed their own program, then this would’ve never happened,” Murray added.

“Very seldom in a civil liability case does it end with an admission of liability by the defendant. They will avoid that at all costs and PACE and SER admitted their responsibility in this case,” added attorney Marc Taxman.

The bus driver involved was arrested and charged with DUI and careless driving.



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