4 Dead in Merced County Tour Bus Crash
Tour Bus Accident in Merced County
Four people died and nearly two dozen were injured in Merced County, Tuesday August 2nd after a tour bus crash. The charter bus accident happened around 3:30 a.m. on Highway 99 just south of Livingston, CA when the bus crashed into a sign pole.
The tour bus carried at least 30 passengers, six of which suffered major injuries and were airlifted to nearby hospitals. All passengers on board are thought to be of Mexican decent. The bus left Mexico headed for Washington State with stops made in:
- Los Angeles, CA
- Sacramento, CA
- Pasco, Washington, CA
The tour bus driver was scheduled to arrive in Livingston at 1:30 a.m. for a change-of-shift, but was running behind schedule.
According to surviving passengers, the bus was attempting to merge, but the motorist in that lane refused to let him over, which caused the bus to veer off the freeway.
As the charter bus veered off the side of the road it crashed into the pole of a highway sign. The impact nearly split the bus in half, as it tore through rows of seats. According to the CHP there were no brake marks at the scene, meaning the bus hit the pole at full-speed.
According another survivor’s account the bus driver was hit by a passing vehicle during his attempts to help trapped passengers and was taken to the hospital.
This was the first “reportable crash” for the company, although Federal inspectors have noted 23 vehicle maintenance violations since 2014, with eight of those 23 being sever enough for the buses to be pulled form service.
DMV records indicate the 1998 bus was registered to Autobuses Coordinados USA Inc., out of Southern California. They were fined $3,200 in 2015 for not ensuring their vehicles had safe and operable parts.
The bus involved in this crash was inspected on April 28, 2016 and according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration the bus had “no or defective brake warning device,” this means the brake light wasn’t working. In February, the same bus was pulled in Oregon because the driver was driving with a suspended license.
The cause of this crash is still being investigated.
Getting Help After a Bus Crash
After the initial shock of a bus crash, what follows is no easier to deal with. From injuries, to medical bills and rehabilitation the impact of the crash goes beyond the accident scene.
After bus crash, it’s important to protect yourself, your rights and your family. Whether the cause be a defective product, an overworked and drowsy driver or a negligent motorists it’s you don’t have to face the aftermath alone.
An experienced bus crash lawyer is ready to help make sure you’re taken care of while you recover.