Ten women and three men on their way back from a casino were fatally injured when the bus they were riding on collided with a tractor-trailer on a California highway early Sunday morning. Dozens of injured passengers were taken to three area hospitals for treatment, in what is being described as one of the deadliest crashes the state has ever seen.
Initial reports indicate speed played a large role in the accident. Traffic had been slowed down on portions of the highway near Palm Springs, while electrical crews attended to wires near the road. The large truck involved in the accident was believed to have been traveling at a slow speed when it was rear-ended by the bus. Officials say evidence points to the bus traveling at a much higher speed at the point of impact, as the only skid marks found on the road were those of the truck when it was pushed forward. The crash was so forceful that a large portion of the front of the bus wound up in the back of the tractor-trailer.
The bus was manufactured in 1996 so it may not be equipped with data recorded, which would help officials identify the reason for the crash. The bus was also not outfitted with seatbelts for passengers. Inspections done on the bus for the last three years, including this April, showed no mechanical problems. The bus driver did not survive so investigators will have to try to piece together what caused him to slam into the back of the truck. The driver of the big rig is recovering from his injuries.
As we have seen too many times across the country when a bus accident occurs on a major highway the consequences can be deadly. Bus companies need to be responsible for the vehicles they put on the road and drivers they put behind the wheel. If you or someone you love has been injured in a bus accident, please call the experienced and compassionate attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., to help you obtain the compensation you and your family deserve for your pain and suffering.