The company, which operated the bus involved in the accident in Merced County Aug. 2, has had a history of violations and problems, according to an ABC News report. The bus, operated by Autobuses Coordinados USA, was traveling at a high rate of speed when it hit a freeway sign head-on causing the sign to rip through the bus. Many injured passengers lost their limbs and four people died from their injuries.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the governmental agency that monitors commercial vehicles, the bus company has had 29 inspections over the past two years. Federal regulators gave the bus company a “satisfactory” rating in May and the company has had no record of crashes in the last two years. However, when it comes to inspections, the company’s percentage of vehicle and driver violations is much greater than the national average.
Driver and Vehicle Violations
It is particularly worth noting that the driver of the bus that crashed had the most significant driver violations on record. Driver violations relating to this bus company have to do with multiple driver’s log books including a “false report.” The most severe driver violation, which occurred Feb. 5, 2015, involved a driver who was operating a bus on a suspended license. That driver was Mario Vasquez, who was driving the bus that crashed Aug. 2. He was charged back in February and convicted the following month for driving with a suspended license.
Of the 26 vehicle inspections, eight buses were placed out of service. That’s more than 30 percent, which is higher than the national average of 20 percent. Of the 18 driver inspections, four were placed out of service, which is about 22 percent – again, higher than the national average of 5 percent. Problems with the buses included non-working headlights, a tire so worn that the inner material was exposed and two instances of worn or missing steering components.
Justice for Victims and Families
Based on this news report it appears that the bus company was routinely slapped with violations not only for falsifying driver’s logs, but also because of lack of proper bus maintenance. These types of actions on the part of mass carriers definitely amount to negligence. Transportation companies such as bus companies owe the highest duty of care to their passengers. Failing to hire qualified, experienced drivers with good records and failing to properly maintain their fleet is negligence.
In such cases where negligence and/or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can file what is known as a wrongful death claim seeking compensation from the at-fault party for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship. The many individuals who have been severely injured can also seek compensation for damages. An experienced Sacramento bus accident lawyer will be able to help victims and their families better understand their legal rights and options. Call the Demas Law Group, P.C., at (916) 444-0100 to find out how we can help.