Champion Case Filed Against Charter Bus Company in Orange County

Tallahassee, FL -- May 22, 2012

WCTV now has a copy of a lawsuit filed against the charter bus company at the center of a deadly FAMU hazing scandal. Drum major Robert Champion was beaten aboard one of those buses and later died. The negligence suit names the driver of the bus, and claims she's partly responsible for Champion's death.

The lawsuit names Wendy Millette as the driver of the bus on which Robert Champion died. The documents say Millette stood guard while Champion was being beaten inside the bus and says not only did she know and allow hazing on previous trips, but Millette told others that she was a part of the "Bus C" posse.

Earlier this month thirteen people were charged for the hazing death of FAMU drum major Robert Champion. The Champion Family attorney however, says the bus company and the driver of the bus Champion died on, are also responsible.

FAMU Student, Kai Blake says, "Since they were on the bus, I guess they kind of assume liability over that kind of situation. So, they kind of just take that responsibility just by letting them on the bus." Champion died November 19th in Orlando after a hazing ritual on board a Fabulous Coach Lines charter bus.

The lawsuit against the company and driver Wendy Millette says at one point Champion came to the doorway of the bus and started vomiting in the parking lot. It goes on to say Millette was standing guard at the door and told Champion he would be alright and forced him back onto the bus, where he was beaten some more.

FAMU Student Bakiva Thomas says, "I can't assume what thoughts that she may have had, but maybe in her mind she was thinking it would be best for him to get back on the bus where it's cooler; and maybe she had in mind to try to get some help for him." The lawsuit says Millette frequently participated or allowed hazing on her bus, even while driving down the highway. In fact, the documents say she bragged that she was a part of the "Bus C" posse.

WCTV contacted the owner of Fabulous Coach Lines, Ray Land, and we have not heard back from him. Our calls to Millette's attorney were also not returned.

Public records in the pending criminal cases related to the Robert Champion investigation will be released tomorrow. We're told the documents are hundreds of pages long. We will have that information for you once it is released.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Sara on May 23, 2012 at 10:47 AM
    The lawsuit states this bus driver stood by and saw Champion exit the bus and throw up in the parking lot etc., etc. Is there actually a witness or more than one who is testifying to this?
  • by FShelfer Location: Mayberry on May 23, 2012 at 10:35 AM
    I think it is Hungry Howie's fault because they served Pizza in the same vicinity of the hazing and continued doing their jobs. The department of transportation is eq
  • by tired on May 23, 2012 at 08:26 AM
    I am sick of hearing about this case.Nobody cares anymore,get over it.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 23, 2012 at 01:18 PM in reply to tired
      You are right...I only read the comments because that is the real story...otherwise just so dumb guy wanting to get beat up by some thugs in order to feel wanted or like he belong...big Fing deal...stupid pople is all!
  • by Vic on May 23, 2012 at 07:54 AM
    How sad and irresponsible this bus driver was in allowing this beating on her bus. She also should be charged criminally. The bus company and just trying to make a living and now the parents are coming after them because of their deep pockets. The real problem stems from famu and the leaders/administration and should be fired. white should not have been allowed to retire and should have been fired and also held criminally. A senseless death happened on his watch and this animal behavior was known and ignored by him.
  • by Donn on May 23, 2012 at 07:44 AM
    They won't get as much as they think anyway. That's why they are suing so many people. Robert was one of the "student" who wasn't in school so he shouldn't have been on the field or in the band anyway.
  • by Harold Location: Florida on May 23, 2012 at 06:53 AM
    Ok ok that's it. Robert is at falt just as much as everyone else. His parents want to make him look all good and clean. Most parents think there kids are good and want do wrong. LOL! If Robert had not come back down stairs and walked across the parking lot not carried or pulled he would be here. HE took on that and as a drum major he was to report ANY hazing to the band staff not be a part of it. And as a band student he sign a form like all band students sign. Not to take part in or be a part of ANY hazing. In Fl he's just as guilty as tge one who did it to him. Also he was a happy bragging member of the GA Red Dogs and was a gazer himself. Now check that out. Oh and by tge way it was stated he did it to get resepct HELL NO!! He was a DRUM MAJOR that was all he needed to get check that out
  • by Anonymous on May 23, 2012 at 05:29 AM
    I seriously doubt she stood guard or joined in the beating. When my brother-in-law returned from Iraq the bus driver that moved the unit from Ft. Stewart to Tallahassee told us (when they arrived) she felt like part of the unit. Her company had the contract to take the returning troops to their various home bases in the Ga, Fl, Alabama which she did four or five days a week. She drove the transport and tried to make sure her riders were comfortable and got home safely with regard to not having accidents- which was her job. She was personable, friendly and very polite- (but) other than opening the bottom storage area where they could get their gear and be in a few pictures that was it. I suppose the civil law system of extorting money from people and companies will make a villain of her as well.
  • by CDubya Location: Tallahassee on May 23, 2012 at 05:23 AM
    So much hate behind a computer. Neither one of you would speak your mind in the presence of a person of color!!!
  • by replier to cmartin on May 23, 2012 at 04:48 AM
    Everyone involved should pay for the crime including you for not knowing how to spell and trying to leave racial comments. How did you spell smart as start because it was not a typo "m" and "t" are not near each other on the keyboard. you sound black yourself dumbo and what you said is wrong with the black people is the same thing wrong with the whites so why ask a dumb question. They use cover up things to have power over the blacks including your (stupid a..).
  • by Sarah Location: Florida on May 23, 2012 at 04:04 AM
    Since Champion's mother stated she wants to bring hazing to the light, then I guess she will not be requesting monetary compensation for her son's death. I feel sorry for the loss the Champion, but I am quite sure that he did the same thing to other band members. Therefore, the mother has better be prepared to hear some not so nice things about her son. It think the time has come for this case to be taken out of the media. People are going to get tired of hearing about it and going to change how they feel about what happened. The young man is dead and the media should step back and let the justice system work. Stop broadcasting every day on this death. The jury pool has already been contaminated and if these young people do not voluntarily take a plea, it is going to be hard to find somebody to sit on a jury.
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