A charter bus crash in the San Fernando Valley sent dozens of people to the hospital and triggered additional crashes. According to a KTLA news report, the incident occurred the afternoon of Oct. 14 when the bus that was traveling north on the 405 Freeway in the North Hills area crashed into a number of other vehicles. The bus then slammed through the concrete center divider sending it into the other side of the freeway. It then struck a number of vehicles in the southbound lanes.
About 40 victims were evaluated at the scene and 25 of those were transported to the hospital. Five people – three women ages 49, 60, and 88, and two men ages 30 and 69 – are said to be in critical condition. At least 20 others suffered non-life-threatening injuries and are listed in fair condition. The private charter bus was carrying 37 people and had left a church event at the Forum in Inglewood.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the injured bus crash victims and their families. We wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
CHP released a dashcam video, which shows the bus suddenly moving to the right, bouncing off a freeway barrier and then plowing through the concrete median into oncoming traffic. According to an ABC news report, the bus driver, who has been seriously injured, told officers that the driver of a pickup truck that was towing a trailer cut her off causing her to swerve and crash. Officials have said that the driver of the truck is now a person of interest in this investigation.
Also, the bus did not have seatbelts. Under California law, only buses built after 2016 are required to have seatbelts. Officials said seatbelts would have helped minimize the extent of injuries in this case. Investigators are setting up a forensic vehicle analysis to see if they can rule out mechanical malfunction. In addition, they are asking anyone who may have seen the accident to come forward with more information that may help move the investigation forward.
Compensation for Victims
In such cases, a number of different parties can be held liable for the injuries, damages and losses caused. If the accident was the bus driver’s fault, both she and her employer (the bus company) can be held liable. If the accident occurred due to a mechanical malfunction caused by lack of proper maintenance, the bus company and/or the vehicle maintenance contractor can be held accountable. If a malfunction was caused by a defective vehicle part, the bus manufacturer or the manufacturer of the defective part can be held liable.
It also remains to be seen what role the pickup truck’s driver had to play in this crash. Victims in such cases would be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles bus accident lawyer who will stay on top of the official investigation and help ensure that they receive fair and full compensation for all their losses.