Four people were killed and seven others were injured in a California bus crash early morning on May 21, 2014 after the bus struck a load of metal pipes scattered across the highway, slid down an embankment and rolled over. According to an Associated Press news report, just a minute before this fatal crash, the pipes had tumbled from a flatbed truck that jackknifed after drifting into the dirt median on the Interstate 10, the main road linking Southern California and Arizona.
Debris Causes Bus Driver to Lose Control
The crash occurred just west of Blythe where the eastbound truck’s spilled cargo blocked both lanes in each direction. Some of the pipes were as long as 50 feet. The bus was heading to Los Angeles from El Paso, Texas with 33 passengers aboard. Four died from their injuries and seven others were taken to hospitals in serious condition. In addition, 14 people suffered relatively minor injuries, officials said.
Based on the preliminary investigation, officials say the driver of the flatbed truck was trying to pass slower vehicles when he drifted onto the dirt shoulder and lost control. Rialto-based VG Transport operated the truck. Federal safety records show the company has not been involved in any crashes reported to state officials in the last two years. The truck passed three federal inspections in the last two years. However, after one of the inspections, the driver was taken off the road for unknown reasons.
We offer our deepest condolences to the families of those who were killed in this horrific crash. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the injured victims. We wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Based on this news report, it appears that this incident will be subject to a lengthy investigation. There are still several unanswered questions here. How fast was the driver of the truck traveling when he lost control? Was the truck driver fatigued, distracted or otherwise negligent at the time? Did he have a good driving record? Did he have any health issues? Were the pipes properly loaded and secured on the truck? It would be necessary as part of the investigation to obtain and review the trucking company’s vehicle maintenance logs as well as driver logs.
Help for Victims and Families
It is crucial that family members of deceased victims and injured victims have access to the resources they need during these turbulent times. We strongly recommend grief counseling for everyone who was involved in this traumatic incident. It is also important that injured victims and their families obtain access to the information and resources they need to protect their legal rights and best interests. An experienced California bus crash lawyer will ensure in such cases that important evidence such as trucking company logs are preserved.
Our law firm is available as a resource for anyone who has been injured or has lost a loved one in a traumatic incident. Brian Chase, partner at BISNAR | CHASE is the 2015 President of the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) and is a two-time Attorney of the Year winner. The best personal injury law firms will be able to assist uninsured crash victims obtain medical treatment and provide them with the support and resources they need during difficult times.