Parents of triplets sue over Chesterfield bus crash

11-year-old Isabelle Tezsla died after her school bus was hit by a dump truck on Thursday morning in Burlington County, New Jersey. Her sisters, 11-year-old Sophie Tezsla and 11-year-old Natalie Tezsla, were critically injured in the crash. The three girls are triplets and the daughters of New Jersey State Police Trooper Anthony Tezsla.

April 22, 2012 7:58:34 AM PDT
The parents of an 11-year-old southern New Jersey triplet killed in a school bus crash have sued the bus company and the owners of a dump truck that collided with the bus.

The Courier-Post of Cherry Hill reports the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, also names both drivers as defendants. It was filed Thursday in state Superior Court.

The Feb. 16 accident in Chesterfield killed 11-year-old Isabelle Tezsla. Her triplet sisters and an 11-year-old boy were seriously injured in the crash, but all three have since been released from the hospital.

In their lawsuit, Anthony and Susan Tezsla claim the defendants' "negligence and recklessness" led to Isabelle's sisters witnessing her death. Anthony Tezsla, is a New Jersey state police sergeant

Authorities said Friday that toxicology tests showed bus driver John Tieman and dump-truck driver Michael Caporale were not under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs at the time of the Feb. 16 crash, which remains under investigation. Investigators have said Tieman pulled ahead of the roadway stop line to get a clear view - and never saw the truck coming.

Telephone calls placed to the two drivers rang unanswered Saturday.

Police have issued motor vehicle citations to both drivers and to Caporale's trucking company. But the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office has said it will await the National Transportation Safety Board's final report on the accident before it decides whether to file criminal charges.

Twenty-five elementary school students were on the bus when the collision occurred. Seventeen children were injured overall, though most only suffered bumps and bruises.

Information from: Courier-Post