Faith Creer, 31 of Los Angeles died in a recent charter bus accident reported by The Los Angeles Times. The bus was in the left lane headed eastbound on Interstate 40 when it drifted onto the dirt median. The bus then crashed as the driver tried to correct its direction and fell on its side. Creer died when she was thrown out by the impact of the bus crash that also injured 21 others, eight of them seriously.
I’m deeply saddened by the loss of life and the scale of injuries caused by this bus wreck. It is always scary to imagine that as a passenger in a vehicle you can have your whole life suddenly upturned or even destroyed. And it is interesting to note here that CHP Officer Taj Johnson is quoted as saying they don’t know why the driver of the bus drifted across the lanes and also that the driver himself didn’t know how it drifted.
Operating buses and transporting the public comes with a huge responsibility for charter bus companies. Some of the recurring causes for common carrier accidents are driver negligence, inadequate security, dangerous roadways, weather conditions, negligence, defective products and improper maintenance, among others. From this report it appears that this is a case of driver error. Personally, from the number of similar cases I’ve handled it is immensely frustrating to see, time and again, bus crashes caused by improperly trained or monitored bus drivers or by drivers exhausted from excessive workloads.
Any transportation company – public or private owes its every passenger a duty of utmost care. This is a standard that is higher than the negligence duty also owed by a transportation company. If you are a victim of a bus accident, you’d be well served to consult with an attorney. The bus company must prove they did all they could to avoid the accident and this gives you a very good chance of winning damages.