As investigators continue to comb through the wreckage of Sunday's fatal tour bus accident in Southern California, more information has surfaced regarding the cause of the crash.
According to the tour bus driver and passengers, the driver yelled to passengers to call 911 immediately before the bus hit two other vehicles, killing seven people. It appears that the brakes on the bus failed, though investigators caution that they are in the second day of a potentially long investigation. The California Highway Patrol has only indicated that speed was a factor. The bus was allegedly travelling at 60 mph for up to five minutes.
Scapadas Majicas: No stranger to bus maintenance issues
In our last blog post, we mentioned that the tour bus company -- Scapadas Magicas -- has been cited 59 times for maintenance and other issues. We have since learned that the company received 22 safety violations in the last year alone, including citations for brake and tire problems.
In fact, the company failed 36 percent of all random safety inspections, compared to the 21 percent average. Because of the high number of safety violations, Scapadas Magicas has been on a federal watch list and subject to additional roadside inspections.
Bus accident litigation
While the federal government has increased bus inspections and has looked at revising federal regulations regarding tour buses, tour bus accidents continue to occur. It is shocking that, on average, bus companies fail inspections 21 percent of the time. That is unacceptable and shows that there are widespread safety issues that must be addressed to prevent crashes such as the California bus accident.
That is why it is vital that injured parties and families who have lost loved ones come forward and hold bus companies responsible for their negligence. It may be possible to recover compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other damages.
After one similar bus accident, our law firm led the charge in a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Royal American. We represented eight passengers and recovered a substantial settlement. More importantly, we helped our clients begin again after the traumatic experience and held Royal American accountable for their negligence.
Learn more by visiting our pages on Los Angeles bus accidents.
Source: Associated Press, "California authorities have lowered the death toll in tour bus crash from 8 to 7," Tami Abdollah, Feb. 5, 2013