A casino tour bus driver and five of his passengers suffered injuries when their bus was hit by a tractor trailer in Solano County Aug. 28 on the Interstate 80, according to a KTVU-TV news report.
California Highway Patrol Officer Marvin Williford said the driver of the big rig, 30-year-old Juan Velasquez, was taking the I-80 off ramp from the highway when he was reportedly unable to negotiate a sharp left turn at the bottom of the ramp. Velasquez’ 1993 Freightliner tractor-trailer struck the tour bus owned and operated by Reliant Travel of Oakland. The bus driver was identified as 50-year-old Jimmy Duncan of Oakland. Alcohol is not suspected in this California bus crash. The five victims were taken to an area hospital for treatment. The bus was reportedly returning from the River Rock Casino in Geyserville and was transporting five passengers to Emeryville.
I wish all the injured victims a speedy recovery.
Preliminary investigations show that the accident could have been the fault of the big rig driver because he failed to negotiate the turn as he attempted to take the off ramp. As a result, he ended up hitting the bus. If investigators determine that Velasquez is at fault, then he and his employer could be held responsible for the truck accident and injuries to the bus passengers. On the other hand, if the bus driver is found to have been under the influence of alcohol, which officials are investigating now, then the bus company could be held responsible for the passengers’ injuries.
Bus companies owe their passengers the “utmost duty of care,” which means they are responsible for what happens to their passengers who depend on the bus driver to reach their destination safely.
The injured passengers will be well advised to retain the services of a reputed California personal injury attorney to help determine the exact cause of this bus versus big rig accident and hold the parties who are at fault responsible for the accident and injuries caused. A skilled auto accident attorney will also be able to determine whether another vehicle or a dangerous roadway condition caused the accident. Remember that there is a 180-day statute of limitation in the state of California to file a claim against any governmental agency.