‘That moment plays over and over:’ Wife of man killed by bus on SR-417 sues company

Lawrence ‘Kyng’ Jones was hit while pushing disabled SUV in Orange County

ORLANDO, Fla. – The wife of a crash victim is putting pressure on a Central Florida transportation company after he was killed in January.

“It hurts my heart that I even have to come here and tell you this in order for you to care, for you to feel some sort of empathy,” Danielle Jones said as she stood beside her attorneys, John Morgan and Nick Panagakis with Morgan & Morgan.

The law firm announced a new lawsuit Thursday morning against a tour bus company and the driver involved in a crash that killed 30-year-old Lawrence “Kyng” Jones, who was pushing his vehicle on State Road 417 in Orange County earlier this year.

The Florida Highway Patrol said in January the Lawrence Jones was pushing a disabled SUV on SR-417 near International Drive when the tour bus from Mears Transportation struck the back of the vehicle and him, causing the car to then hit a guardrail.

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Danielle and two boys, ages 3 and 4, were in the SUV at the time of the crash.

The lawsuit claims the tour bus company, Mears Destination, did not properly train its drivers and also accuses the driver of being “negligent in her operations of the bus,” a news release stated.

“With their hazard lights flashing prominently, Kyng was pushing the vehicle on the side of the road when Mears’ bus driver slammed into Kyng and the Jones’ family vehicle, without slowing down, at approximately 54 miles per hour,” the law firm said.

Dashcam video from the bus, released by Morgan & Morgan, shows the crash.

[!!!WARNING: Video below is graphic!!!]

In the video, you hear the woman driving the bus call in to someone else to report that she was involved in an accident.

“I didn’t see them down here,” she said.

She is heard saying multiple times that glass fell all over her. She then says, “And I was on the phone. I’m going to be in trouble,” the video shows.

According to the federal motor carrier safety administration’s SAFER report, Mears has self-reported nine accidents in the past two years, not to include this crash.

The website does show their last compliance report in 2019 was “satisfactory.”

Morgan & Morgan said the driver did not provide the FHP with a blood and alcohol test and Mears has refused to turn over their cell phone.

“We never had a corporation fight us so hard, so early with something so obvious,” Morgan said.

The family is asking for justice.

“I do hope that my story can help make sure that a driver thinks twice before being distracted while driving,” Danielle said.

After the crash, Danielle did suffer from a broken shoulder, and one of the sons in the vehicle had two broken legs.

The lawsuit also included maintenance violations, driver fitness violations and safety equipment violations from Mears. News 6 did reach out by phone and has left a message, but at this time have yet to hear back.

The lawsuit is seeking more than $100,000.

Read the full complaint below.

About the Authors:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.