December 6, 2013
Raleigh, NC (December 6, 2013) - The family of a 52-year-old Raleigh woman who was killed while operating a commercial bus filed suit today against the owner and operator of the bus fleet saying its negligent maintenance of the vehicle led to her asphyxiation and death.
Joanne Veronica Griggs Sewell died on December 14, 2011, when she was overcome by fumes while operating a Wolfline Campus Bus on N.C. State’s Centennial Campus on behalf of First Transit, Inc. The lawsuit, filed in Wake County Superior Court by Joanne’s family, names First Transit and company personnel as defendants.The lawsuit alleges the company and staff were aware of complaints associated with the particular bus and failed to take appropriate action thereon. Despite the complaints of Joanne and other drivers as to the fumes on the bus, staff directed her to continue driving. Joanne eventually became overcome with the fumes and collapsed never to regain consciousness again. Joanne was pronounced dead on December 17, 2011. The suit was filed by attorney Adam Neijna, of the Law Offices of Adam Neijna, in Raleigh.
“What happened to Joanne was unacceptable and could just as easily have happened to other bus operators,” Neijna said. “We need to make sure all persons who ride the buses, employees and customers, are safe at all times so that tragedies such as this never happen again.”
Joanne is survived by her loving husband Canute Sewell and four children Sherese Brown, Darice Sewell, Donovan Sewell and Kenyatta Sewell.