Eight People Killed in Bus Accident

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At least eight people, including six members of a church group, have been confirmed killed in a bus accident in Tennessee.

At least eight people, including six members of a church group, have been confirmed killed in a bus accident in Tennessee. In this case, the bus was carrying a group of church members back home from a three-day festival.

According to official reports, the bus accident is believed to have been the result of tire blowout. The bus veered across the highway, crashing into a SUV and a tractor-trailer. The impact of the accident was devastating, and eight people succumbed to their injuries. At least 14 people on the bus were hurt, and several of these people are believed to be in critical condition.

The eight people who died in the accident include the driver of the bus and his wife. Both were members of the Front Street Baptist Church. Several church members were passengers on the bus. Most of the victims have already been identified. Identification proved to be a challenge because the bus exploded into flames soon after the accident, rendering many of the bodies unrecognizable.

The National Transportation Safety Board has already announced that it will not be sending any investigators to the scene of the accident. This is rare for the federal agency, which often sends its investigators very quickly to the scene of a fatal accident. However, as a result of the government shutdown, the Board has confirmed that its investigators have been furloughed, and no investigators will be sent to this investigation.

Investigations are likely to be very challenging in this case. This was not a public vehicle, but a church vehicle, which means that it is not under any obligation to comply with record-keeping regulations, and other regulations, that apply to commercial buses and charter vehicles. However, these church buses are required to maintain their buses in a properly functioning state. All repairs that are necessary must be conducted, and all parts must be in a safe condition. However, church buses are not required to maintain any records to prove that inspections, safety checks and other repair work has been performed on the buses.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 3890 11th St, PMB 17, Riverside, CA 92501 (951) 324-5174

Feds Shut down Bus Company Due to Safety Violations

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has increased its enforcement actions against bus companies that flout safety regulations.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has increased its enforcement actions against bus companies that flout safety regulations.  In fact, bus accident attorneys have been very encouraged to note that the federal agency is now less likely to tolerate noncompliance.  Recently, the federal agency shut down a Montana-based bus company, for frequent bus safety violations that were proving to be a hazard to passengers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announcement names Rimrock Stages Inc., a passenger carrier that is based in Billings, Montana.  The company was doing business as Rimrock Trailways and Rimrock Stages.

According to the federal agency, it conducted an investigation of the company, and found a number of safety violations, that were potentially dangerous to the safety of passengers.  For instance, the investigation found that the company did not have an adequate safety management program in place to ensure that all of these buses were subject to frequent and systematic inspections.

The company also did not have a program in place to maintain buses, and to keep buses in need of repairs out of the fleet until repairs were conducted.  The inspectors also found that there were no knowledgeable and qualified mechanics to help maintain and repair the buses.  Safety standards were at an absolute minimum, and mechanics frequently dispatched vehicles, that had safety defects.

All of these are serious defects that increase the risk of being involved in an accident.  According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration notice, its inspectors inspected a total of 8 commercially vehicles operated by the company.  Almost all of these vehicles had safety defects.  The federal agency discovered at least 79 violations of federal safety requirements in all of these buses.  These include violations that required the vehicle to be placed out of service.  The entire fleet of 8 buses has been placed out of service by the federal agency.

The company has been ordered to stop all operations immediately, and has been declared a public safety hazard.

 

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 28202 Cabot Rd #300, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 (949) 614-1142

Bronx Bus Accident Case Highlights Need to Criminalize Drowsy Driving

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A number of recent high-profile accidents related to drowsy driving have made headlines. One of these was a bus accident in New York earlier this year that killed 15 passengers.

A number of recent high-profile accidents related to drowsy driving have made headlines.  One of these was a bus accident in New York earlier this year that killed 15 passengers.  The bus driver in that case has been cleared of most of the charges against him.  However, it is clear to car accident lawyers that law enforcement need to begin strongly prosecuting drivers who drive while sleepy, placing others at risk.

In the Bronx accident, the driver fell asleep while driving, leading to the bus going out of control, flipping over, and crashing into a pole.  The impact of the accident caused the bus to slice into two.  15 passengers were killed in the accident.  The bus driver was charged with a number of criminal felonies, including manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

However, he has been cleared of most of the charges.  He was only convicted of a minus charge of aggravated unlicensed operation of vehicle.  He was cleared of most of the serious charges against him, and has been fined $500.  That sentence against him is likely to aggravate many of the survivors of the accident, and the families of the 15 people were killed in the accident.

During the trial, prosecutors tried hard to make more serious charges stick to him, but failed.  Similar such efforts have been made in criminal cases linked to drowsy driving across the country.  However, many of these attempts have been unsuccessful, because it’s harder to quantify drowsy driving, and much harder to detect it.

It is easy to criminalize drunk driving, because there is a blood alcohol test that can clearly indicate how drunk or intoxicated a motorist was at the time of the accident.  It’s also easy to go through cell phone records, and find out whether a person was distracted by a cell phone and caused an accident.  However, it isn’t as easy to measure or detect drowsy driving.  No motorist is going to come right out and admit that he dozed off while driving, or was completely confused and disoriented because he was driving on too little sleep.

 

Meeting Location
The Reeves Law Group
28202 Cabot Rd #300
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
(949) 614-1142

 

Records Indicate Bus Company in California Accident Cited Repeatedly

bus accident lawyers

More information is emerging about the mysterious bus company that allegedly operated the bus involved in the deadly accident in San Bernardino County.

More information is emerging about the mysterious bus company that allegedly operated the bus involved in the deadly accident in San Bernardino County.  It now appears that the company, National City-based Scapadas Magicas has a dubious safety history.

Officials were able to identify that the bus was being operated by the company, because of a Department of Transportation identification number that linked it to the National City-based company.  According to the Los Angeles Times, this is a small company that has 3 drivers, and a checkered safety history, with numerous safety violations.

The company, according to the Los Angeles Times, has been cited several times over the past couple of years for safety violations, including problems with brakes and tires.  According to federal authorities, as many as 75% of motor coach carriers in the same class have a much better safety record.  That means that this bus company is at the bottom of the heap as far as safety is concerned.

In fact, the bus carrier’s safety record is so bad that the Department of Transportation had placed the company on a high-priority watch list, which included buses of this company at the top of the list for inspections and interventions.

That the bus company has such a long history of serious safety violations is not really surprising to California bus accident lawyers.  It has been strange to see that the company has not come out with a statement on this accident, or to express any kind of concern for the victims and their families.  It is already more than 24 hours since the accident, and the lack of a formal response does not speak well for the kind of safety culture that exists at this company.

In the days ahead, the experienced bus accident attorneys at our firm will be monitoring new developments in the investigation and the release of more information about the safety record of the company.

 

Meeting Location
The Reeves Law Group
1055 W 7th St #3333
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 271-9318

 

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