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Parents sue bus company in hazing death

Feb. 14, 2012 at 4:24 PM

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The family of a Florida A&M marching band drum major allegedly killed in a hazing incident has sued the owner of a charter bus where the fatal beating occurred.

The lawsuit, filed in Orlando, Fla., by the parents of Robert Champion, said the bus driver, Wendy Millette, contributed to his death by participating in the alleged hazing or allowing it to happen, The Orlando Sentinel reported.

The lawsuit, which names as defendants Millette and charter bus company Fabulous Coach Lines of Branford, Fla., said Champion had left the bus to vomit in a parking lot of an Orlando hotel after the Florida Classic football game in November, then Millette told him to get back on the bus, saying he'd be OK.

"This was a [hazing] culture embraced by this bus company," attorney Christopher Chestnut said after filing the lawsuit.

The suit said Millette had often been assigned to "Bus C," where hazings were known to happen, and had told other drivers she was part of the Bus C "posse."

On Nov. 19, the suit said, the bus was parked away from other buses in an "obscured" area of the parking lot.

Other bus drivers had complained to Fabulous officials about hazing on Bus C and other buses before the Nov. 19 beating but were told to ignore them and "FAMU was paying for it and could do what they want," the suit said.

Neither Fabulous nor the law firm representing the company and Millette was available for comment, the Sentinel said.

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