At least five people have died and several others have been seriously injured in a charter bus accident in Merced County, which occurred early morning today. According to the Merced Sun Star, investigators are calling it the worst crash in recent history. The bus, carrying about 30 people from Mexico, veered off Highway 99 and crashed into a highway signage pole. The charter bus, registered to Los Angeles-based Autobuses Coordinados USA, Inc., was traveling between the Mexican state of Nayarit and Washington state.
Catastrophic Injuries Reported
The collision caused the large signage pole to plow through the front of the bus, slicing through several rows of seat before hitting the back axle. Six people who suffered critical injuries were airlifted to area hospitals. A deputy coroner told the newspaper that the bus looked like it had been bombed.
A police officer who was among the first to respond to the incident said he saw several passengers had been ejected and were lying in the ditch. Many of the injured victims had limbs that were partially or completely severed. Fire department personnel went through the bus collecting as many body parts as possible for the coroner to identify. Several people were trapped for hours in the bus before emergency responders were able to rescue them.
Officials are still looking into what caused this horrific crash. According to the report, the bus involved in this crash had been cited for three violations in April including having prohibited aisle seats, a parts and accessories violation and another violation relating to bus maintenance. There are a number of factors that must be examined in such cases including driver negligence, driver fatigue and poor bus maintenance.
Injured victims should get prompt medical attention, treatment and care for their injuries. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those injured in this collision as well as to the families that have lost loved ones here. We can only imagine the chaos and grief such a traumatic event causes its victims and their families.
Bus accident victims are entitled to seek compensation for their significant losses including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities and pain and suffering. Victims and families that have lost loved ones would be well advised to contact an experienced California bus accident attorney who will stay on the top of the investigation and fight for their legal rights and best interests. Call Demas Law Group P.C., at (916) 444-0100 to find out how we can help you.