Published January 10, 2017
It wasn’t exactly smooth sailing for a group of Royal Caribbean passengers and now they’re suing the cruise line for an excursion that turned deadly for one traveler.
Eight passengers sailing on board the Independence of the Seas last year decided to book a day excursion to Jamaica’s famous Dunn’s River Falls near Ocho Rios on Jan. 14, 2016 when the ship docked. The crew reportedly enjoyed a day at the waterfall and even swam with dolphins.
But the bus driver that took them back from the cruise ship drove recklessly, the passengers claimed, and continuously changed lanes while speeding. When passengers asked to slow down, according to TMZ, the driver reportedly said that he was driving “the way everyone typically drove in Jamaica.”
That "way" wound up being deadly.
As the bus entered the port city of Falmouth, a major collision occurred in which one passenger was killed and three others were wounded. The crash also involved a truck, a panel van and another car, according to Cruise Critic.
According to the lawsuit, the excursion group's driver had a slow reaction to a vehicle that had entered their lane. The passengers said the driver didn’t get out of the way and the bus was subsequently broadsided, causing it to flip multiple times.
At the time, Royal Caribbean released a statement called the accident a "terrible incident."
"We are saddened to report that one of our guests passed away," the line said on Jan. 15, 2016. "Three other guests were injured and are being treated at the local hospital. Crew members are at the hospital with our guests in order to help respond to this terrible incident. The other guests that were on the bus have been treated and released, and have continued on the ship."
Those suing the cruise line say that Royal Caribbean placed them with an inept driver and thus failed to provide a safe experience even though the driver was not directly employed by the line.
Independence of the Seas was sailing a five-night itinerary that departed from Florida with port calls to Labadee, Haiti and Falmouth, Jamaica.