Local News

Wife of bus crash victim seeks closure

Posted March 29, 2015 9:02 p.m. EDT

— The wife of a Chapel Hill man who was killed in a charter bus crash two years ago said she is thankful for an $18 million jury award.

Doval Emmanuel Watson, 58, was escorting prospective students headed for a tour of his alma mater, Hampton University, in April 2013, when the bus they were on overturned in southeastern Virginia.

Watson died from injuries suffered in the wreck.

"It has absolutely been the hardest time in my life," said Teresa Watson. "To wake up every morning and he's not here, or to go to church without him, or to the park without him, it just feels so empty."

Teresa Watson was also a chaperone on the trip and suffered serious injuries in the crash.

"I don't know all the things that happened to me, but I was in and out of a coma," she said. "I learned this during the trial that I was yelling 'get this bus off of me.'"

Watson filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Horizon Coach Lines. The lawsuit contended that driver Larry Brocks lost control of the bus while reaching for some water.

After seeking $52 million, a jury awarded $18 million to Doval Watson's estate.

"You have to have him in your spirit every day," his wife said. "And so, I have to work on the closure part. It just did not give me closure."

Brocks, 62, of Raleigh, who was charged with reckless driving, said he had wished numerous times over the past two years that he, not Watson, died in the wreck. He also apologized to Watson's family.

Watson said she has forgiven Brocks.