A casino tour bus accident in Los Banos has left 13 people injured after the bus collided with a truck carrying 25 tons of tomatoes on Highway 152, according to an article in the Merced Sun-Star. California Highway Patrol officials say the accident was caused by the bus driver, 32-year-old Javier Banuelos of San Jose, who fell asleep behind the wheel. The crash occurred in the highway’s eastbound lanes near Volta Road scattering 25 tons of tomatoes on the freeway as well.
The bus was reportedly carrying 30 passengers going to Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino. The bus driver, who drifted into center median, ended up swerving and hitting the right rear side of the big rig carrying tomatoes. All passengers were transported to area hospitals, with one victim being flown to a hospital with moderate injuries. Officials assessed the injuries to be minor to moderate and say it could have been “a whole lot worse.”
Thankfully this bus accident did not result in catastrophic injuries or deaths. Given the way the accident occurred and the damage to both vehicles involved, it’s a miracle that it wasn’t a lot worse
Liability for this California bus accident appears clear. Bus passengers themselves observed their driver falling asleep at the wheel and drifting into the center median. If the injured passengers file claims against the San Jose tour bus company, they should be compensated for their injuries and losses. Such compensation will usually cover expenses such as medical bills, ongoing treatment costs, loss of wages, pain and suffer as well as any disability. Do you think the defense will ask for a credit for the gambling money that wasn’t lost?
Bus companies – whether it’s a public transit system or a private charter company – owe its passengers the utmost duty of care – more than they do to other motorists on the road or pedestrians. I would also be interested to find out if this bus driver was working overtime or more than he should have been. Whatever the reason, both he and his employer, the bus company, would be held responsible for the accident. The injured victims would be well-advised to retain the services of a very experienced California bus accident attorney to examine their rights and legal options.