The driver of a tour bus that crashed into a stopped big-rig on the 10 Freeway near Palm Springs in October 2016 that left 12 passengers dead was most responsible for the crash, a CHP investigation has concluded.According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the driver of the tour bus, Teodulo Elias Vides, also died in the crash. The bus was carrying 42 passengers from the Red Earth casino in Thermal and was going west at 76 mph in a 70-mph zone at the time of the 5:15 a.m. crash.
Both Drivers at Fault
The driver of the big-rig, Bruce Gilford, is facing 13 counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, 12 counts of felony reckless driving causing injury and 17 misdemeanor counts of reckless driving causing injury. He has already been arrested. Guilford had fallen asleep with the rig’s parking brakes set while traffic had stopped to allow Southern California Edison workers to pull wires across the highway.
Still, CHP investigators have said Guilford was not the party determined most at fault. Vides’ estate has already been sued by some of the surviving passengers and family members of those who died. A District Attorney’s Office investigation showed that Guilford violated various federal regulations related to drive-time limits and sleep breaks before the crash and that he had also falsified log records.
Bus Accident Injuries
As is evident from this catastrophic bus crash, such collisions have the potential to result in major injuries and fatalities. A number of tour bus and large truck crashes are caused by sleepy and exhausted drivers. While bus and truck companies are governed by federal hours-of-service regulations, trucking and tour bus companies tend to turn a blind eye to these crucial regulations that are intended to save lives.
Anyone who has been injured in an accident involving a large truck or a bus would be well advised to contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled similar cases. Injured victims may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, permanent injuries, disabilities and pain and suffering. Families of deceased victims may be able to seek compensation for medical and funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship.