A charter bus carrying at least 50 people from a Colorado ski resort skidded off a rain slicked road in South Utah and rolled over several times down an embankment killing nine people and injuring at least 23. According to an Associated Press news report, the Arrow Stage Lines bus was traveling southbound on State Route 163 when it plummeted 41 free down an embankment after failing to negotiate a curve.
Many of the travelers suffered critical injuries while nine were killed in the crash. According to reports, the roof of the bus split open and many of the occupants were thrown out of the vehicle. Several investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are out on scene investigating the tragic, horrific crash. The driver reportedly escaped with minor injuries.
The Associated Press also reported information from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Web site, which shows that Arrow Stage has had seven bus crashes in the last two years, four of which involved injuries. This accident occurred 10 miles north of the area known as the Mexican Hat, in the Four Corners region where Utah meets Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. Emergency crews from all four states responded. The nearest hospital was about 80 miles away.
Victims told reporters at The Arizona Republic that the accident happened too suddenly. People who were thrown around and out of the bus said they could see nothing in the dark and had to use their cell phones to see what was going on.
An investigation into the crash will hopefully reveal to the victims and their families what caused this tragic crash – driver error/inexperience, vehicle malfunction, a dangerous roadway or any other factors that may have contributed to the accident. It would be in the victims’ and their families’ interest to seek legal advice from an attorney experienced in bus crash cases to examine their rights.
A passenger on a bus who is involved in an accident is usually owed what is known as the “utmost duty of care” by the bus company – whether it’s a public or private carrier. This duty of utmost care is higher than the negligence duty owed by the bus company, say, to drivers or other vehicles or pedestrians. A public bus, school bus or a chartered bus owes its passengers the duty of utmost care to ensure that you are in the safest possible situation from the time you get on that bus until you reach your destination.
At Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, it has been our observation from three decades of experience that bus crash victims have a good chance of securing compensation or damages unless the bus company can prove that they did everything possible to prevent or avoid the accident. For more information, call us toll-free. We may be able to answer your questions or help you with your case.