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Articles Posted in Bus Accidents

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An elderly couple was struck and injured by an Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) bus while walking in a crosswalk in Santa Ana the night of November 5, 2014.

According to a news report in the Orange County Register, the injury collision occurred at the intersection of Ross and Fourth streets.

Police say the man in his 70s and the woman in her 60s were walking in the crosswalk on Continue reading →

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Charlotte Boyse, 17, a senior at Corona del Mar High School, was injured after she fell out of a prom-bound party bus the night of June 6, 2014.

According to a news report in The Orange County Register, state regulators had ordered the party bus operator to stop its unlicensed operations in April, about six weeks before this incident.

In addition, the California Public Utilities Commission’s enforcement division had denied Continue reading →

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At least seven people were injured in a Los Angeles bus accident, which officials say, was caused by an SUV driver who was under the influence. According to a KTLA news report, the SUV bounced off a concrete road barrier and plowed head-on into a Metro bus at the intersection of Vanowen Street and Mason Avenue in Winnetka. The 30-year-old driver of the SUV was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Both drivers and five bus passengers were transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. They are believed to be in stable condition. The investigation is ongoing.
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Greyhound Lines Inc. has reached a $2.1 million settlement with the family of one of its passengers, who was killed in a 2010 bus crash on Highway 99 in Fresno. According to a news report in The Fresno Bee, the fatal accident occurred in the early morning hours of July 22, 2010 in the northbound lanes of the highway near McKinley Avenue in central Fresno. The Greyhound bus struck an overturned SUV on the freeway, careened down an embankment and crashed into a tree. Greyhound has already settled a number of lawsuits brought by passengers who were on that bus and has several others pending.
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The federal agency, which investigates fatal highway crashes, has criticized the U.S. Department of Transportation for failing to keep unsafe tour buses off highways. According to an NBC Los Angeles news report, the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) made his criticism after investigators determined that a fatal February tour bus crash near Big Bear that left eight people dead was due to faulty brakes. Investigators said regular inspections of tour buses would have caught such an egregious safety violation and taken that bus off the road.
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Eight people were injured in a San Diego bus accident when a Harrah’s casino tour bus crashes into a yard on Valley Center Road. According to a U-T San Diego news report, the accident occurred the morning of September 19, 2013. The victims, who were in their 60s or older, suffered minor to moderate injuries, including broken bones. Eight people were taken to area hospitals for treatment. The bus that was carrying 15 people including the driver started its trip in Seal Beach in Orange County and was headed to the casino.
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A total of 55 people were injured in a charter bus crash when a casino-bound bus overturned on the 210 Freeway in Irwindale. According to a news report in the Los Angeles Times, the injury crash occurred the morning of August 22, 2013 on the eastbound lanes of the 605 Freeway interchange. Witnesses told officials at they saw the bus brake hard in the far left lane before it ended up on its side on the freeway’s shoulder several lanes to the rights. Aerial footage showed skid marks streaking across the freeway behind the crash site.
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Federal officials have shut down the company whose tour bus went out of control before a catastrophic collision with two other vehicles on February 3, 2013. According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, federal officials said the bus company is an “imminent hazard” to public safety after finding mechanical problems with its other buses. Eight people, including seven passengers, were killed in that bus crash that occurred near Yucaipa. The victims who were killed in this crash have been identified as Fred B. Richardon, 72; Guadalupe Olivas, 61; Elvira Garcia Jimenez, 40; Victor Cabrera Garcia, 13; Aleida Adriana Arce Hernandez, 38, Rubicelia Escobedo Flores, 34; Liliana Camerina Sanchez Sauceda, 24; and Mario Garcia Santoyo, 32.

In addition, U.S. Department of Transportation investigators determined that Tijuana-based Scapadas Magicas provided them with documentation during a January compliance check that falsely stated that its buses were well maintained and that its drivers were properly licensed.

Bus Company Lied to Inspectors

It is not rare for a bus company to get caught lying to officials on these important matters, a federal official told The Press-Enterprise. The Department of Transportation and California Highway Patrol periodically do compliance reviews of bus companies. During these reviews, investigators will make unscheduled visits to review licenses, medical certificates, driver logs and maintenance records as well as result of drug and alcohol testing programs.

CHP officers may conduct random inspections in the field usually at the bus company or terminal to verify documentation. An officer has the power to take a bus out of service on the spot if he or she decides it is in poor mechanical shape or that the driver is not properly licensed. Scapadas Magicas supplied documentation to officials in January suggesting no problems. But when officials inspected two other buses that the company operates in the United States, they found serious mechanical safety violations.

Rights of Victims and Families

It is critical that those who have been injured or have lost loved ones in this tragic bus crash contact an experienced California bus accident attorney who will strive to preserve important evidence in this case and hold the bus company accountable. It is appalling that this bus company gambled with the lives of its passengers and apparently, did so routinely. I’m relieved that federal officials have banned this company from operating, at least for now.

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mta-bus-accident.jpgAn 81-year-old man was killed and a 50-year-old man was critically injured after both were struck by an MTA bus while they were crossing an intersection in West Hollywood. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the fatal crash occurred the night of February 4, 2013 at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and Palm Avenue. The driver of the MTA bus told officials that he was driving the vehicle back to the depot at the end of the shift when the collision occurred. The elderly man died while the younger man has been hospitalized in critical condition. The driver underwent a toxicology test. No passengers were on board the bus at the time of the crash. The investigation is ongoing.

Pedestrian Injuries and Fatalities

In West Hollywood, two pedestrians were killed and 50 were injured as a result of auto accidents in 2010, according to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). In Los Angeles County as a whole, 195 people died and 4,535 were injured due to pedestrian versus vehicle collisions.

Crosswalk Laws

Based on this news report, it appears that the men were crossing at the intersection of Palm and Santa Monica Boulevard, where there are painted crosswalks. It is not clear why the MTA bus driver did not stop and yield the right-of-way to the pedestrians. Under California Vehicle Code Section 21950, motorists are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians walking in marked or unmarked crosswalks.

The same section also states that the driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk “shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of a vehicle or take any other action relating to the operating of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.”

Who is Liable?

I trust officials are looking into whether the bus driver was intoxicated, drowsy, speeding or distracted when this collision occurred. If the bus driver is determined to have been at fault, he and his employer could be held liable for the elderly pedestrian’s wrongful death and the serious injuries caused to the other pedestrian. If a dangerous roadway or intersection caused this collision, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Please remember that any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a governmental agency must be filed within 180 days of the incident.

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