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Queensway Bridge, Wrong Way Fatal Car vs. Bus Crash

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Long Beach resident Samuth Pen, 19-years-olds, was killed late Friday when he drove, the wrong way, on Queensway Bridge head on into a Long Beach Passport Bus according to the Press-Telegram

The two adult male passengers in Pen’s Honda Civic were taken to area hospital with minor to serious injures. Seven of the passengers on the bus and the Long Beach Transit Bus driver were taken to a local hospital suffering from minor to moderate injuries suffered during the Long Beach bus accident.

Let’s hope all those involved fully recover as quickly as possible from their injuries. My deepest condolences to Pen’s family and friends.

The Long Beach Police Department’s Accident Detail is asking that anyone with information about this accident contact them at 562-570-7355.

According to the Press Telegram, authorities at this time do not believe alcohol was a factor. Their report also said the men in Pen’s Honda were wearing their seat belts.

So how did it happen that Pen and his companions were going the wrong way on Queensway Bridge? Apparently they were not intoxicated. They had the presence of mind to be buckled up. What happened?

If I were handling this case, we’d be interviewing the surviving young men in Pen’s Honda to see where they had been, where they were going and the route they followed. We would be going over the route very carefully to see if there was a reason for Pen not to know he was entering the wrong way on Queensway Bridge.

I’d also want to know why the auto accident actually happened. The two drivers at some point must have seen each other with enough time to each move to the right side of the roadway and avoid a head on collision. I would want to interview the bus driver and passengers to help put the pieces together.

Certainly the bus passengers have a right to compensation for their injuries as do the passengers in Pen’s Honda. If there isn’t enough insurance to go around to cover their damages claims, they each can look to the uninsured/underinsured provisions of any automobile insurance coverage that they or any member of their household may have.

The bus driver has workers’ compensation rights he can claim, even if he was at fault, which it appears that he was not. He also has a claim against Pen’s insurance and estate. The driver may also want to look into any uninsured/underinsured auto insurance policy he or any member of his family may have.

Assuming that the roadway signage was legally inadequate, Pen’s heirs may have a claim against whichever governmental agency is in charge of marking and maintaining the roadway where Pen entered the wrong way on Queensway Bridge. If there is some government negligence, all the injured could possibly be making a claim against the governmental agency in charge. Keep in mind that any claim against a governmental agency needs to be properly made within six months of the accident date.

The bus passengers, Pen’s passengers and especially the bus driver should all be consulting experienced personal injury attorneys to determine their rights, obligations, options and deadlines for action.

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