Our truck accident attorneys report on a recent truck crash took the lives of twelve passengers and a driver of the tour bus in the morning hours of October 23, 2016. The bus was returning to Los Angeles and crashed while returning from a casino near San Diego. The bus carried 43 passengers and a driver. All on the bus were either seriously injured or killed when the bus slammed into an 18-wheeler without braking. The operator of the 18-wheeler was also injured in the crash. This senseless tragedy highlights the danger trucks and tour buses pose to ordinary motorists and pedestrians alike if the large vehicle operators fail to adhere to the requisite safety standards.
In this particular case, the tour bus driver and the company that owned the tour bus appear to be at fault for this horrific crash. The National Transportation Safety Board and that California Highway Patrol continues to investigate why the cause of the crash. Those agencies did, however, release preliminary information about the accident. According to a report published in the L.A. Times, federal officials stated that two of the eight tires on the bus malfunctioned. They believe, at least initially, that the tire failure caused the crash. Officials said that the two tires fitted on the axle which controls the steering of the bus were unsafe. The treads were wore down so low that they were below the minimum standard of 4/32 of an inch. The steering tires were virtually bald.
As the investigation progresses, more information becomes known about the bus and its lack of safety features. The L.A. Times reported that the bus did not have an event data recorder, commonly referred to a black box, on board. The presence of a black box would allow investigators to learn more about the operation of the vehicle before the crash. The event data recorder would show the speed of the bus just before the crash, whether the bus braked, or decelerated. The L.A. Times investigation revealed that the bus had poor safety record but had passed inspection in 2016 with a “satisfactory” finding. Interestingly, the California Highway Patrol indicated that the safety inspection it performed on the bus would have shown that the tires were worn down too low for safe travel. Therefore, the investigators believe that the tires wore down significantly after the annual inspection. The responsibility of maintaining the tires falls on the bus company. Importantly, the tour bus was not equipped with seatbelts for its passengers.
Additionally, the bus driver and bus company had a spotty safety history as well. The driver and company were involved in fatal crashes in the past. Law enforcement cited the bus driver for several moving violations. Additionally, the bus owner allowed his permit to operate lapse and was cited by a California agency for the infraction. Furthermore, the tour bus company had several unsatisfactory ratings from the California Highway Patrol in the recent past. Those unsatisfactory ratings involved the company’s failures after an inspection for controlled substances and alcohol testing mandates.
As experienced Miami truck accident attorneys, we possess the knowledge and skill to analyze a crash. We look for many of the safety failures in truck crashes that occurred in this terrible bus crash. We examine the truck’s tires. We inspect the driver’s safety record, as well as the truck’s inspection and safety record. We leave no stone unturned. Accident’s involving enormous vehicles like 18-wheeler trucks and tour buses inflict catastrophic injuries and death on the victims of the crash.
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