Ray Villeda, NBC 5 News
The family of Loyd Rieve, the man behind the wheel of the charter bus crash, spoke to NBC 5 about Rieve being a safe driver.
The man behind the wheel of the charter bus that crashed and flipped on its side Thursday morning is in intensive care.
The Cardinal Coach Line charter bus was on its way to an Oklahoma casino when it crashed along the President George Bush Turnpike near Belt Line Road in Irving, killing two and injuring 40.
Loyd Rieve's family said he is in serious condition at Parkland Memorial Hospital. They said he has injuries to his lungs, ribs and various bruises all over his body.
"He is our life support. He is our heart," said Kim Ellis, his daughter-in-law. "He's the main center person in this house that keeps everyone going."
Rieve, 65, has driving commercially, including 18-wheelers and charter buses, for more than 30 years, his family said.
Family members said they don't believe driver fatigue was a factor, saying Rieve is very strict about his sleep schedule. The family said he had been in wrecks before but they were "not his fault."
In 2001, Rieve and another bus company, Central West Motor Stages, were sued over a 1998 bus crash. Court records name Rieve as the driver who swerved around a crash on Interstate 35 and fatally struck a a man who was helping a woman injured in the wreck.
The Good Samaritan's family sued Rieve and Central West for damages but lost the case in court in Dallas County. A passenger on the bus also filed suit over the crash but lost.
Ellis told NBC 5 that she didn't know too much about the 1998 crash.
"Tragic things happen; we understand that," she said. "We are praying for everybody."
Ellis said she watched the crash unfold on TV and could see her father-in-law lying on the ground in the moments after the crash.
"I wanted to get in the car and go; what can you do?" she said. "It was such a sense of relief to know that he was alive."
Rieve is unable to talk about the crash, family members said. He can only mumble because of the extent of his injuries, they said.
The Department of Public Safety said the cause of the crash is under investigation.
NBC 5's Ray Villeda contributed to this report.