Trial for fatal Ride the Ducks crash begins Monday

SEATTLE — A trial over a fatal Ride the Ducks crash in Seattle three years ago begins Monday.

More than 40 victims are suing the city and state in the crash that killed five people and injured more than 60 others in September 2015.

Earlier this year, the City of Seattle settled with 12 of the victims' families for more than $2 million.

In the lawsuit for Monday’s trial, there are questions whether the city and state could have prevented the crash with safety improvements on the Aurora Bridge.

The trial is expected to last four to five months.

The investigation by the National Transportation Safety board showed the crash was caused by an axle that broke on the duck boat, causing it to veer into the path of a tour bus carrying international students from North Seattle College.

Since then, there has been debate on whether a median on the Aurora Bridge could have prevented the crash.

The state owns the structure and the city manages traffic, as a judge and the attorney for victims said in a pre-trial deliberation.

In 2003, a state study cited the lack of a center barrier as a safety risk. It recommended sidewalks under the bridge deck to widen lanes and a barrier being installed.

The attorney for the victims and their families tells us she's also after politicians to try to get safety improvements done.