This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The parents of a Japanese man killed in a van crash that claimed the lives of three tourists and injured 11 others last summer have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the van's driver and several travel companies.
In the lawsuit filed Monday in 3rd District Court, Hideo and Akemi Hayase claim an inexperienced driver tried to mask fatigue with energy drinks and caffeine gum before falling asleep and causing the Aug. 9crash near Cedar City that killed 20-year-old Hiroki Hayase.
Hideo and Akemi Hayase and their 14-year-old daughter, Mariko, were seriously injured when a tour van on its way to Bryce Canyon National Park rolled on Interstate 15.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages against the driver, Yasushi Mikuni, and two Utah companies, Canyon Transportation Inc. and Western Leisure Inc., for hiring a driver with "less than two months experience" and for not having the requisite commercial liability insurance.
The suit also names a Japanese travel agency as a defendant for failing to ensure the Utah companies were properly insured.