Nine people were injured when a driver ran a red light and hit an Orange County Transportation Authority bus the night of June 3, 2014.
The Orange County Register reports that the incident occurred at the intersection of 17th Street and Fairview Road.
Officials say the OCTA bus was traveling west on 17th Street when a Toyota going north on Fairview ran a red light and struck the bus.
The impact of the collision pushed the bus into a
stopped pickup truck towing a trailer in the southbound lane. The driver of the car, identified as Edgar Estrada, 23, will be charged with driving under the influence, officials said.
Estrada himself was injured and had to be extricated from the vehicle.
The 55-year-old bus driver suffered a head injury and was transported to an area trauma center. He is expected to survive.
Another man inside the bus also suffered moderate injuries. Six other passengers in the bus, ranging in age from 19 to 57, suffered cuts and bruises and were transported to area hospitals.
Officials said the passengers were unrestrained in the bus and got “thrown around.” The crash is under investigation by the Santa Ana Police Department.
My thoughts and prayers are with the injured victims of this bus accident. I wish them the very best for a quick and full recovery.
OC Crash Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2011 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) there were nine fatalities and 1,451 injuries involving traffic accidents in the city of Santa Ana.
In Orange County as a whole, 128 people died and 13,541 were injured due to traffic collisions during the same year.
Violation of Laws
Based on this news report, the driver of the Toyota was not only under the influence, but he also ran a red light at the street intersection before striking the bus.
Under California law, it is illegal for anyone 21 or older to drive a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Also, California Vehicle Code section 21453 (a) states: “A driver facing a circular red signal shall stop at the limit line before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown.”
In such cases, at-fault drivers, in addition to facing criminal charges, can be held financially responsible for the injuries and damages they cause.
Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, permanent injuries, disabilities, rehabilitation and pain and suffering.
If the impaired driver was on the job at the time, his employer can also be held accountable.
Injured victims would be well advised to contact an experienced California bus accident injury lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.