Mass transit vehicles offer a less expensive mode of transportation for many Californians and are often perceived as being safer than personal vehicles. However, a bus accident can easily lead to multiple fatalities and serious injuries. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has expanded the SaferBus app for use on Google Play and taken other precautions following a commercial vehicle accident that claimed eight lives in early February.A Scapadas Magicas LLC coach bus driver lost control of the vehicle and collided with two other vehicles on State Route 38 in California on the evening of Feb. 3. The accident was investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and California Highway Patrol, but results of the investigation have not yet been made public. Federal authorities began the process of training personnel to investigate "key areas of operations at motorcoach companies deemed to be high risk carriers," according to the Department of Transportation.
On the morning of Feb. 6, two car accidents occurred within moments of each other on Highway 18 between Baylis Park and the Red Rock turnout. The primary cause of each car accident is believed to be the bright winter sunlight that streamed into drivers' eyes and caused substantial visibility issues. The county's fire battalion chief, who is also a paramedic, reported that he was traveling near Baylis Park just after 7:00 a.m. when he saw a disabled pickup truck stopped by the side of the road. At the time, he was using one hand to attempt to prevent the sun from shining in his eyes as he drove. After he stopped to assist the truck's driver, another car stopped behind him, was hit by another vehicle mere seconds later and was nearly pushed into his parked car. Further down the hill along the highway, another rear-end accident occurred just minutes later.
Earlier this month, a multi-vehicle accident resulted in the deaths of seven people and led to injuries for close to 40 people in Southern California. This commercial vehicle accident involved a tour bus, a car and a pickup truck. It took place on State Route 38, which is about 80 miles east of Los Angeles. The accident occurred when the tour bus driver allegedly lost control of the bus due to brake problems as it traveled down a mountain road. As it plummeted down the road, it struck a car and subsequently flipped over before sliding into a pickup truck hauling a trailer. The accident left the front of the bus crushed, and passengers were trapped inside. As rescue workers freed the bus passengers from the wreckage, injured parties were transported to local hospitals.
Late last month, a 49-year-old man was found guilty on two second-degree murder charges and one count of assault in a California court. He could be forced to serve the maximum sentence of life in prison.The charges stem from an incident in September 2008, when the man struck three elderly pedestrians after driving onto a sidewalk in San Jose, killing two of the pedestrians and seriously injuring one in the process. Afterwards, he left the scene of the crime in a cab, but he was arrested upon reaching his residence.