A California tour bus accident turned deadly when five people died and dozens were injured in a Soledad bus accident on the Highway 101 the afternoon of April 28, 2009. The Orion Pacific tour bus based out of Orange County was carrying French tourists when the bus crashed and rolled over on a freeway overpass, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The accident caused several passengers to be ejected from the bus and onto the overpass as well as the freeway below, California Highway Patrol officials said. The number of deaths is expected to increase, as many of the personal injuries are believed to be life threatening. Traffic investigators are looking into what may have caused the fatal California bus accident.
My heart goes out to the family and friends who were involved in this horrific tour bus crash. According to officials, this is one of the worst bus accidents this area has ever seen. I offer my deepest sympathies to everyone who knew and loved the victims of this tragic accident. I am praying for the victims who are fighting for their lives in hospital beds and their families that are making arrangements to fly out from France to be with their loved ones. I hope and pray that the victims of this bus crash make a quick recovery.
The group of French tourist began their trip in Los Angeles and was apparently on an eight-day sightseeing trip. According to CHP officials, 34 of the tour bus passengers are French nationals, one was an American bus driver and the other was a Canadian guide. The group was headed from San Francisco to Santa Maria when the California bus accident occurred. Of the passengers four were under 18. Officials of concluded that no other vehicles were involved.
A bus company is obligated to give their passengers a standard of “the utmost duty of care.” This applies to companies both public and private. The Bus Company therefore is responsible for the safety and well being of their passengers. If driver error or negligence caused the accident then the bus company could be held liable for any personal injury or deaths caused by this accident. If the accident was cased by a product defect the manufacturer of the bus would be held liable. If this is the case, the injured victims and their families would be well-advised to retain the services of skilled California bus accident attorneys who will explain their rights, the legal process, and how to get help with medical and other expenses they will be faced with as a result of this tragic bus accident.
Statistics gathered from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that 278 buses were involved in a fatal bus accident in the United States in 2007. A total of 322 deaths and 15,888 personal injuries, which involved bus crashes nationwide during the same year. There are still many unanswered questions that come to mind in this case. Why and how did the driver lose control of the bus? Was he distracted, exhausted or under the influence? Was there a mechanical malfunction or product defect in the bus that caused the accident?
The injured tour bus accident victims and families of the deceased victims will be able to file personal injury claims and wrongful death claims against the negligent parties either in California State courts or in federal courts even though they are French nationals and not U.S. citizens or residents. The best law firms will provide a free, confidential, comprehensive consultation. Victims and their families would be well-advised not to give any statements to anyone, talk to investigators or adjusters or sign any documents or releases until they are represented by a skilled California personal injury attorney. Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys would be pleased to provide a free, comprehensive consultation to any one of the passengers or their family.