The Large Geography a Bus Accident Can Cover

By Michael Ehline – Buses are normally thought of as long distance or local transport/livery vehicles, like the ones that pick you up on a designated route, such as a bench, or bus stop. But bus accidents do not always involve these particular types of commercial vehicles. There are also other types of buses, and the average for them to be involved in accidents is often higher than the local or long distance commercial passenger vehicles discussed above.
The other types of buses include:

  • School Buses
  • Shuttle Buses
  • Hotel Vans
  • Casino Shuttle Services
  • Party Buses
  • Tour Buses
  • Airport Shuttles

These are passenger buses that must adhere to the same Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations as other commercial vehicles and a high standard of safety. Drivers are to be properly trained and the bus is to be properly maintained. When these things do not happen, then it might only be a matter of time until the bus is involved in a bus accident. This can involve any of the different types of buses, even the ones that children ride on daily to travel to school and home.

Examples of Recent Bus Accidents

One of the most recent bus incidents resulted in the death of a child. The child was an 11 year old girl on a bus with others traveling to her cousin’s quinecanera celebration. The girl was sitting on the back of her seat, when authorities believe she leaned against the emergency window while the bus was turning. The girl was killed in the incident, and it was found by authorities the driver was not properly trained or licensed. The bus was believed to not have the proper inspections or permits either.

This is not an isolated incident; bus accidents happen quite often and usually result in tragedy for passengers and their family members. All motor vehicle accidents can have devastating outcomes, but when it is a commercial passenger vehicle, there are many more people who may be injured or killed in an accident. These crashes happen for various reasons, including driver error, an improperly trained driver, or lack of proper bus maintenance.

When this kind of crash occurs, there is an investigation into the cause to determine how it happened, and this will usually determine how it could have been avoided. Some of these crashes do happen due to circumstances beyond the bus operator’s control, but the greatest number are due to driver negligence, error, or inexperience. This is why there are regulations regarding the training of drivers and special licensing. These are large vehicles, which have a lot of glass and usually have no seatbelts, leaving passengers at risk if there is an incident. Safety issues have long been debated, and while most buses do not have seatbelts, there are opinions on both sides. In the event of an accident, the lack of seat belts leaves passengers unprotected from large windows, metal, plastic and other materials on the inside of the bus, as well as colliding with other passengers. A 2009 study showed there were 221 fatal bus accidents annually and, when compared to 18,315 car collisions, show that this type of transportation is relatively safer than personal vehicles.

The one statistic that stands out is that 15 out of 19 bus accidents were due to driver negligence. This negligence included failing to drive safely for weather conditions, driver fatigue, abrupt lane changes, and veering off of the road. This data was included in a government study showing how these accidents occur, and that motor coaches represent 0.7 percent of all large vehicle crashes. It was found that 18 out of 19 drivers had violations in their driving record, and these violations included:

  • Improper lane changes
  • Improper turning or passing
  • Failure to obey traffic signs or signals
  • Speeding
  • Prior suspended driver’s license

When deciding to travel by bus, passengers believe they are safe, whether traveling to work, across the country, or on a tour bus. The studies show that passengers are actually only as safe as the bus operator’s driving record and the company’s maintenance record. When the bus company is not responsible in their hiring of drivers or maintenance, they can be held responsible. They are accountable when the standard of care is not upheld, and they are accountable when Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations are not followed. These are just some of the many issues showing the many different types of bus accidents. Learn more.

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FedEx Facing Another Lawsuit in Humboldt Bus Crash

A-LAPD-Officer-responds-to-car-accident-at-Venice-Beach-Pier.jpgThis is such a tragic story and with so many plaintiffs, it is hard to see how any family can be made financially whole. But none the less, the survivors are doing what they can to turn over the damages aspect of this matter to attorneys. The family of one of the students killed in the horrific charter bus and FedEx crash in Orland, California has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the package delivery company.

The lawsuit was filed by the parents of Ismael Jimenez 18, who witnesses said was at the front of the bus helping passengers escape the burning charter bus when he died.
Jimenez was an aspiring artist, who was one of the 10 people killed of the students heading to Humboldt State University for a weekend tour on April 10th. The FedEx truck in the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 crossed the highway into oncoming traffic slamming head-on into the bus carrying the students.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the Los Angeles County Court and the family of the 18 year-old has placed blame on FedEx, the driver, the manufacturer and Volvo. The driver of the truck was killed in the head-on collision. The family has also named the charter bus company, Silverado Stages in the suit filed with the court. According to the family’s attorney Paul Kiesel, the family is seeking unspecified damages and said he would be holding a news conference.

This is the most recent lawsuit in the deadly crash and more are expected to be filed against both FedEx and the Silver Stages charter bus company. Earlier in the month the mother of one of the other students who died in the collision filed a lawsuit seeking $100 million dollars. The package delivery giant FedEx said that it does not comment on litigation.

Prior to the head-on collision the driver of the FedEx truck signaled to change lanes into the left lane and began the merge, according to the Jimenez family’s lawsuit. The documents claim the driver did not straighten the freight hauling truck out and continued east across the median of 58 feet and into oncoming traffic where it collided with the charter bus carrying the students.

Sources:

LA Times Story: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lawsuit-fedex-orland-crash-20140520-story.html

 

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FedEx Big Rig Hits Charter Bus Carrying Students Head-on

bus for transportation

bus accident routes

It looks like a case of clear liability, but at least one personal injury attorney at Ehline Law Firm PC thinks there is more to this case than meets the eyes. Attorney Michael Ehline says that a FedEx big rig truck struck a charter bus carrying Los Angeles, County school students head-on on I-5 in North California. He says there is not enough info to pin the blame 100% on FedEx or its trucker. According to the California Highway Patrol the tour bus collided with a FedEx tractor trailer truck and a Nissan Altima on the I-5 Freeway at approximately 5:40 p.m.  in the vicinity of Orland, California when the big rig jumped a center median and struck the bus.

See the Glenn Tour Bus Crash Video:

The bus was carrying approximately 46 passengers at the time of the crash, when it caught on fire. At least nine people were killed in the collision and dozens more injured CHP said.
Seven students, the bus driver and FedEx driver were the nine people killed in the crash, with dozens of others injured CHP said.  CHP officials said the bus belonged to Silverado Stages tour Bus Company based in San Luis Obispo.The research we have done indicated that there are mixed reviews about this company on Yelp (Read More), and that the company has a reputation for transporting students. The passengers on the bus included students and chaperones traveling to Humboldt State University for a college tour.

According to CHP officials the FedEx 18-wheeler was traveling southbound, when it crossed the center line hitting the bus head-on in the northbound lane. The authorities not have information how the Nissan Altima was involved in the crash or what caused the tractor trailer truck to go over the center divider. At this point, we do not have a history on the truck driver, or from FedEx on who they blame.

According to some reports by family members the students were from Los Angeles and Riverside area schools including Banning High School and Robert F. Kennedy High School. One parent stated her children attend Norte Vista high School in Riverside and boarded separate buses, with one child boarding the bus involved in the collision.
Governor Jerry Brown issued a statement, saying he and his wife extend their deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the passengers that died.

So at this point, we cannot 100% blame the FedEx truck and the Altima could have played a role in the wreck.  We advise all of our viewers to thoroughly research any common carrier for hire when they ride, and that they also think about alternative forms of transport. In California and under federal law, there is no requirement that that buses even be equipped with seatbelts, so it is something to ponder. Our hearts also go out to the survivors.
Citations:

NBC News: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/tour-bus-fedex-crash-northern-california-los-angeles-students-254835921.html

Who is Legally Liable for the Tour Bus Crash? – Ehline law Firm PC: http://busaccidentlawyers.ehlinelaw.com/who-is-responsible-glenn-school/

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Greyhound Bus Crashes in Arizona Injuring 23

Palo Verde Valley Bus reports Early Thursday morning a greyhound bus crashed near Tonopah, west of Phoenix, Arizona, injuring at least 23 people. The bus was traveling eastbound on Interstate 10 at approximately 1:45 a.m. in the vicinity of Tonopah when the incident occurred, according to authorities.

See the Shocking Video Here:

The accident happened when the bus crossed into the median where it eventually came to a rest after the crash.  According to authorities believe prior to the crash one of the passengers yelled “I’m gonna flip this bus” as the passenger was punching the bus driver in the head. This incident led to the bus crash, authorities said.

Greyhound said the bus was carrying 41 passengers at the time and twenty-three passengers were transported to area hospitals. They said that the other 18 passengers did not report any injuries and were not transported.  The bus company said that two buses are transporting the unharmed passengers in the crash to their destination.

Authorities:

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_west_valley/buckeye/23-injured-after-greyhound-crash-near-tonopah

http://www.scoop.it/t/personal-injury-attorneys/p/4014679519/2014/01/23/ehline-law-reports-23-injured-in-greyhound-wreck-due-to-distraction

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India Bus Crash Off Bridge Kills 37 and Injures 15

Bus Off a Cliff

Bad Crash in India

With all the recent catastrophes in the news, it is not surprising that this story reared its head a few weeks back. Thirty seven people were killed and 15 injured when a private bus traveling from the beach city of Goa to Mumbai fell off of a bridge in the Khed in Ratnagirir district. The crash took place at approximately 2:30 a.m. when the driver suddenly lost control on the Bharna Bridge over the Jagbudi River, causing the bus to plunge into the river, said BL Shinde an official from the highway department.

If this happened in California, you better believe lawsuits would already be filed.  I am not so sure about Indian law on this one however. In any event, according to police official Mahendra Singh Pardeshi the bus had the capacity to carry 55 people, but he unsure how many passengers were onboard at the time the bus went into the river. Emergency responders used gas cutters to extract the survivors and the dead from the bus that was lying upside down on the bank of the Jagbudi River.

Ten of the injured are reported to be in critical condition, one of whom was the driver, according to emergency personnel. Reportedly many of the injured suffered head injuries.
According to authorities there were some foreigners onboard the bus and one Russian national was among the rescued. Police are investigating if the driver of the bus was drunk at the time of the crash and are doing testing. The injured victims from the bus were transported to Khed Civil Hospital.

Can the victims and survivors get money?  Isn’t India governed under English Common Law? Anyone know?

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Hit and Run Bus Collision Facts

A type of transport. The bus.

Beautiful Big Bus

Bus accidents are devastating; they can result in traumatic injuries and death. The design of a bus means that it is able to carry many passengers and this increases the probability of multiple injuries or deaths in the event of a collision due to another driver or a crash due to veering off the road.

When an Injury Causing Vehicle Leaves the Scene

Hit and Run Bus Accident Attorney

Suffer a hit and run due to a bus?

You need to know that there are some collisions that are caused by the hit-and-run driver. This can be a driver that causes a carriage for hire to veer out of control and wipe out or strike a vehicle or, pedestrian. It could also be that the driver who caused the wreck could have injured a passenger, and does not want to face the consequences.

The hit-and-run driver can legally be held responsible for either contributing to the devastation. The driver can be held liable for any injuries or deaths that occurred in the bus collision. Experienced attorneys have resources it takes to conduct an investigation and build a winning case for the injury victim, or the family of victims that suffered a fatality or really bad bodily and emotional harm.

Large Commercial Vehicles Often Involve Serious Devastation

Buses are large and heavy vehicles and for the motor vehicle that is lighter weight and smaller when hit by a bus the passengers are often either seriously injured or fatally injured in the collision. Passengers on the bus can also be injured, since they do not have the safety features that are common in other vehicles, like seat belts. This puts the bus passenger in a position where they can be seriously injured or deadly injuries during a bus crash.

The Public Bus

Public transportation buses, school buses, church bus, and charter buses are all buses that might be involved in a hit and run accident. This type of bus crash occurs more often than people realize. The hit and run bus accident can lead to multiple severe injuries or deaths.

When you or a family member has been involved in a hit and run accident in Pomona, San Bernardino, Riverside or LA, CA, you have the right to recover compensation for any personal injuries or deaths. The compensation is for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, ongoing medical care, funeral costs and other damages. Bringing a hit and run lawsuit sends a clear message that can deter other drivers about acting negligently in injuring or causing deaths in hit and run accidents.

Importance of Hiring an Experienced Legal Professional

Good lawyers are committed to recovering compensation for the injured victim or family of a catastrophe. Contact one by doing a Google search.

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Why Federal Regulators Ordered Bus Company to Stop Operation

Tour bus crash

Trashed bus

We are fierce proponents of common carriers (defined here) regulating themselves. A cost for this, a license for that. By the time your done, there is no money left. Unfortunately, the rising prices of gas and regulations, make it very hard to turn a profit. So companies cut corners to stay in business. Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have ordered a tour bus operator to cease operations immediately, after being involved in a Southern California crash.

The Crashes

The crash involving Scapadas Magicas L.L.C. based in National City California (learn more), was involved in a crash in Southern California resulting in the deaths of eight people. Friday Federal regulators ordered the company to stop operation of its three buses stating they pose an “imminent hazard” to the public.

In February 3, 1996 the bus crash (read here), the cause of the crash was questioned by investigators, when the driver said the brakes failed, prior to the bus hitting a sedan that flipped over, hitting a pickup truck east of Los Angeles in the San Bernardino Mountains. The bus was in route to Tijuana Mexico at the time of the crash and was transporting 38 passengers and a tour guide.

Mechanical Violations

Friday regulators said the investigation of the company after the crash found that two other buses that were in operation within the United States had mechanical safety violations. The inspectors found the company had failed to have regular inspections for the buses prior to the crash, and when the vehicles were inspected they had multiple break issues and numerous other violations. There is no indication on what the inspections cost, but bus companies have to comply with all sorts of federal and state agencies, and the costs are enormous to keep all those regulatory agents employed.

According to the order to cease operations of the companies buses, there were maintenance violations cited during 21 of the latest 25 vehicle inspections, this equaled 36 percent of the buses being put out of service. Transportation regulators reviewed the company compliance in January, they found breakdowns had been identified and the company’s safety management systems. They determined Scapadas Magicas failed to take action in remedying the issues in safety management.

We have yet to hear the side of the bus company. It does appear that they cut corners. Should the government agencies streamline the regs, so bus companies can afford to comply? We hear stories of truckers using the trailer brakes and cheap retreads to cope with fuel costs and regs. Is this different?

Conclusion

People need to reconsider the causes and effects of the costs involved in complying with regulations, while at the same time, common carriers need to regulate themselves.

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Safety Questions Asked After Deadly Bus Stop Accident

Breaking News—Questions are being asked about the safety of bus stops in Vegas Valley, after the deadly accident that occurred on Thursday.

New Measures Being Taken to Move or Reinforce Bus Stop Shelters

The Regional Transportation Commission moved to have new bus stops and shelters that are away from the street. The problem is, many of the older bus stops are not able to be moved due to private property issues.

One of the other proposals to keep citizens safe is to build concrete masses around the bus shelters. This idea was not followed, since it was feared in a crash they would be projectiles.

The Reasons for these type of Ideas: The reason these types of ideas and questions are being asked about how to keep people at bus stops safe, have been renewed following the Las Vegas accident that caused four people to be killed and eight others injured.

According to Las Vegas police officer Laura Meltzer, said that at approximately 6:25 p.m. a driver crashed into the bus stop. Officer Meltzer said the driver is suspected of driving under the influence and speeding at the time of the crash.

Four people that were in the vehicle, had to be removed by emergency responders, after the crash. According to Officer Meltzer all of the victims appear to be adults and pedestrians that were waiting at the bus stop.

The driver who survived was injured and was charged by police with four felony counts of driving under the influence resulting in death. According to first responder reports they smelled alcohol and said the driver said he had been drinking.

Las Vegas Police Sgt. Richard Strader said a police officer was at a 7-11 getting fuel when the vehicle went through the intersection and bottomed out, then caught air due to the speed it was traveling.

Sources:

http://lasvegas.cbslocal.com/2012/09/14/accident-raises-bus-stop-safety-questions/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szIXfKU5XEI

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People Escape Injury when Tough Mudder Endurance Competition Shuttle Bus Erupts in Flames

July 9, 2012 – According to reports passengers on a shuttle bus for the Tough Mudder Endurance Competition, escaped injury, when the bus caught fire.

According to authorities the shuttle bus was carrying participants from the Tough Mudder Endurance Competition, Saturday afternoon, when the bus burst into flames. The passengers were able to avoid injury due to the bus driver’s quick actions, authorities said.

The driver of the shuttle bus said she heard a loud noise and pulled the bus over, which is when she spotted flames.
The shuttle bus was on Highway 330 in Snow Valley, in San Bernardino, when the incident occurred. The driver evacuated 55 passengers from the bus, without injury, according to authorities.

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Metro Chief Orders Investigation in 110 Freeway Bus Stop Crash

A-LAPD-Officer-responds-to-car-accident-at-Venice-Beach-Pier.jpgFebruary 23, 2012 – According to reports the Metro chief has ordered an investigation into the 110 Freeway bus stop crash that critically injured 7 people. According to Metro chief Art Leahy at a board meeting Thursday he requested that an investigation be done involving the transitway, the traffic signs and safety issues where the bus stop crash occurred earlier this week. I have been at that stop before and it is easy to see how a person could get killed. Take a look at the bus stop on Google Earth. It is an accident waiting to happen.

Leahy wants the report within 60 days, after the bus accident that occurred Wednesday afternoon on the 110 Freeway, in the vicinity of the 105 freeway when a car plowed into the bus stop. According to Leahy it is unclear what caused the driver to lose control, in the accident that critically injured seven people. Approximately 50 firefighters responded to the scene of the crash and California Highway Patrol officials issued a SigAlert during the afternoon traffic. Do you agree that bus stops should be set back, or hardened to withstand such a foreseeable situation? Sound off.

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