Second civil suit settled regarding 2015 bus accident involving 44 students



FARMINGTON — The parents of two Farmington students who were injured in a 2015 bus rollover crash will receive a cash settlement from Farmington Municipal School District. 

Judge Daylene Marsh approved cash settlements for Manuel Caro and Goldie Escojeda in a hearing on Wednesday. Marsh sealed the documents disclosing the amount of the settlement at the request of the plaintiffs’ attorney, Richard J. Parmley, who said “how much money they’re getting is really nobody’s business.”

Parmley said after the hearing that “a good chunk of the money will go to medical bills.” Caro's daughter and Escojeda's daughter, who were 11 and 12 years old at the time, respecitvely, suffered "serious physical and psychological injuries," including a broken collar bone, head injuries and emotional distress, according to the original complaint. 

Part of the settlements will go to attorney and court fees, and the remainder after medical bills will be put into bank accounts that the victims alone can access after they turn 18 years old, Parmley said during the hearing.

One other family filed a complaint and received settlements for damages from the same bus rollover. Andrew Ashley and Adela Bob settled personal-injury claims for their two children for $27,000, according to documents from the April 20 settlement hearing. 

In May 2015, 44 students and two staff members were riding home from a school-sanctioned field trip to Canyon de Chelly National Monument when the driver of the school bus lost control of the vehicle, according to the complaint. The bus rolled, and the passengers got “tumbled around like a clothes dryer,” Parmley said. 

“These girls are lucky to be standing here smiling today,” Parmley said, adding that “they’ve recovered pretty well.”

Farmington Municipal School District Superintendent Eugene Schmidt said he wasn’t aware of the settlement or amount, but that the school district “cares deeply for the safety of our children.”

“We care deeply for these young two ladies, as well, and with the settlement we reached, we hope that we can go on with our life journey knowing that we care about kids,” Schmidt said. “We wish them well.” 

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621. 

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