Articles Posted in Bus Accidents

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This week 13 passengers on a USA Holiday tour bus were killed, and many injured, early this morning on a highway in California when the USA Holiday tour bus ran into the back of an 18-wheeler semi truck at a speed great enough to cause the bus to travel approximately 15 feet inside the 18-wheeler’s trailer, causing significant damage to the bus.   The driver was among one of the fatally injured.   Firefighters used ladders to remove the passengers through the windows of the bus.

The tour bus had recently traveled to the Red Earth Casino in Thermal, California, and was returning back to Los Angeles, California when the crash happened early this morning.   It has been reported that the driver of the tour bus was one of the company’s owners.    The USA Holiday tour bus had inspections performed on the bus in 2014, 2015, and 2016, with no mechanical citations reported.   According to news reports, the company also had a satisfactory rating for safety.

At this time the investigation into the crash is still ongoing, therefore officials are unclear as of now whether the driver of the bus was speeding, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or whether he fell asleep behind the wheel while driving.

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A deadly charter bus crash on the interstate recently took the lives of six people and injured several more in North Little Rock.   The charter bus was traveling from Michigan to Texas when the crash occurred.     It happened around 1:00 a.m. this morning on Interstate 40 in North Little Rock.    The bus reportedly left the roadway and hit the North Hills overpass.    There were 22 people on board the bus at the time of the accident.   Six individuals were pronounced dead at the scene and six individuals were treated at local hospitals.

State Police found that the charter bus collided with one of the barriers on North Hills and proceeded to travel a few hundred feet more before stopping on Interstate 40.     Because the individuals on board were traveling from Michigan to Texas, the Red Cross has stepped in to provide shelter to those on board.    The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) is also conducting an investigation of the facts surrounding this horrific interstate accident. Continue reading

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In Arkansas, bus drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while driving. A bus driver is allowed, however, to use a cell phone if the school bus is off the road safely and the parking brake is engaged. When our children are in the care of school personnel, it is reasonable to expect that he or she would be practicing safe driving habits.

According to recent news reports, an investigation was launched regarding a video produced by a student showing a Lake Hamilton school bus driver texting while behind the wheel driving. I read that the superintendent said that the situation was being dealt with as a confidential personnel matter and he would not disclose whether the driver was going to be disciplined for her act of poor judgment.

There are reports in other states of bus drivers texting while driving. In Connecticut, a school bus driver was caught texting while driving. The ensuing investigation revealed that the driver sent and received 1,068 text messages while she was operating her school bus in a one-month period. A Florida student used her cell phone to capture video of the school bus driver texting while driving. At the end of the student’s video, it shows the driver making a sudden move to grab the steering wheel as the bus appeared to drift into another lane of travel.

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Passengers report that a sleepy driver caused a Bus Crash near Mena, Arkansas. The accident occurred shortly after 6 a.m. when a passenger bus with Jefferson Bus Lines crashed into a wooded area near Hwy. 71, north of the Polk County line. Initial reports suggest that the driver fell asleep causing the bus crash.

The bus was en route to Texarkana from Fort Smith when it ran off the road and crashed. Bus accidents caused by the negligence of the driver are serious and require a thorough and prompt investigation. It is important that the passengers report all injuries and seek medical attention immediately. Bus companies and their insurance adjusters often try to minimize the injuries of the riders and try to reach quick injury settlements before the full extent of the injury is known to the victim. Therefore, all injured bus accident victims should contact an Arkansas bus accident lawyer to discuss their legal rights.

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Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced new safety rules that would make it harder for tour bus companies to gain permission to operate and easier for the government to put unsafe operators out of business. Other proposals would make it easier for the government to take away bus drivers’ commercial licenses if they violate drug and alcohol laws while operating a vehicle other than a bus.

The new proposals would require bus companies to pass a safety audit before receiving federal permission to operate. The audit would include an interview with the company’s owners and a safety examination of the company’s drivers and vehicles.

This personal injury blog has written about previous serious bus accidents that were caused by unsafe companies and drivers. You can read about them here and here. A post about an Arkansas bus accident can be found here.

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Cut-rate bus companies, driver fatigue and the need for safer windows and roofs came into focus after a New York bus crash killed 15 people on their way home from a casino. Reports indicate that the driver was driving on a suspended license and should not have been behind the wheel.

The bus is similar to buses in Arkansas that talk people to the casinos for a cheap fare. Federal regulators have long recognized the dangers of fly-by-night bus companies that skimp on safety and skirt the regulations. Although, it was unclear whether this company could be lumped into that category, it is clear that their safety policies and practices were poor.

Driver fatigue, which has been cited more often than any other reason as a cause or contributing factor to bus crashes, has been the target of a slew of recommendations not just for buses and trucks, but in aviation, rail and marine accidents as well. Additionally, reports indicate that the driver served time in prison for manslaughter and grand larceny.

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The National Transportation Safety Board determined that last year’s fatal tour bus accident near Dolan Springs, Ariz. was caused by the driver being distracted by his manipulation of the driver’s side door as he was traveling about 70 mph. As the driver attended to the door, the vehicle drifted out of its lane. The driver then made an abrupt steering maneuver to correct the drift resulting in a loss of directional control of the medium-sized bus.

On January 30, 2009 a 29-passenger bus, operated by DW Tour and Charter and carrying passengers crashed on a return trip from Grand Canyon West to Las Vegas. Seven passengers were killed, and nine passengers and the driver sustained minor to serious injuries. In its investigation the NTSB found that other factors, in addition to the driver’s failure to maintain control of his vehicle, contributed to the accident and its severity.

The vehicle was not equipped with a lane departure warning system. This device would have been alerted upon the initial drift from the driving lane. Further, a stability control system, already widely used in automobiles, could have reduced the likelihood of the driver losing control of the bus.

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An Arkansas Bus Crash has taken the life of a woman and more than 25 Northwest Arkansas residents were injured. The Bus accident occurred on Interstate 40 between Russellville and Clarksville, Arkansas.The bus was on its way back to Bentonville from a religious conference in Little Rock Saturday night when it rolled over on Interstate 40. The Arkansas State Police is working with vehicle specialists to determine the cause of the Bus crash.

According to news reports, the bus hit a guardrail, spun and flipped. Investigations into the causes of bus accidents like this are very important so future Arkansas bus crashes can be avoided. The federal government has found serious safety violations by owners of bus companies that transport church or other groups. It is important that Arkansas groups fully investigate the bus companies they hire to transport their members. Further, if the buses are owned by the Arkansas group, it is vital that the bus get fully and completely checked out before it is used. Safety and mechanical problems are found all too often in bus crash investigations. If you have any questions concerning an Arkansas bus crash, please contact the Pfeifer Law Firm.