By now, you have no doubt heard about the horrific bus crash that took place early in the morning of October 23, just outside Palm Springs. A tour bus operated by a small company in Los Angeles was transporting riders from a casino near the Salton Sea back to Los Angeles when the bus appears to have driven straight into the back of a big-rig trailer, killing 13 riders and injuring 31 more. The crash has been called one of the worst California highway collisions in decades, and comes only a week after an independent research study named the I-10 the fourth most dangerous roadway in the country.
The Cause of the Crash Is Unclear
State and federal investigators have been looking into the cause of the crash, but, thus far, have been unable to point to any specific cause such as drugs, alcohol, or speeding. The bus was a 1996 tour bus, and was the only vehicle owned by USA Holiday, the company that operated it. Many of those on the bus had been sleeping at the time of the crash and could not provide details about the moments leading to the crash. Witnesses did detail a gruesome scene on the bus after the impact, as rescuers struggled to reach those inside. Many of the riders were not wearing seatbelts and appeared to have died as a result of blunt force trauma from hitting other objects during the collision.
The Bus Owner/Driver Had a History of Negligence
The LA Times reported that Teodulo Elias Vides, the owner and sole driver of USA Holiday, which operated the bus, had been repeatedly cited and sued in the past for unsafe driving practices. In 2007 Vides was sued when a USA Holiday bus crashed into a car, killing three of its occupants. Vides was also sued in 2006 after a 2003 crash involving a USA Holiday bus. In addition, he had been cited for driving the bus over the speed limit on the I-10 on several different occasions. Vides, who made his living transporting passengers to casinos in Southern California, died in the crash.
I-10 One of the Most Dangerous Roadways in the Nation
Again, the crash comes a week after the I-10 was named the fourth most dangerous roadway in the country based on the number of fatalities occurring per miles of road. The top five most dangerous roadways according to the study are:
- State Route 99 (California): 62.3 fatal accidents per 100 miles
- I-45 (Texas): 56.5 fatal accidents per 100 miles
- I-95 (Florida to Maine): 55.1 fatal accidents per 100 miles
- I-10 (California to Florida): 54.5 fatal accidents per 100 miles
- I-75 (Michigan to Florida): 47.2 fatal accidents per 100 miles
Work with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in the Inland Empire
If you have been involved in a car, truck, or bus accident in the Inland Empire, the personal injury attorneys at McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP can work with you to obtain maximum recovery in either a settlement or at trial. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney.