A tour bus carrying visitors from Yosemite National park crashed about 40 miles south of the park Saturday April 13, 2013, after the driver lost control. The crash occurred around 6 p.m. on Highway 41, a winding mountain road with many sharp turns. Reports claim that the bus rolled up on an embankment and when the driver attempted to correct the steering, he lost control and careened off the road. California Highway Patrol states that the tour bus would have continued to roll towards the ravine if it had not hit a tree on the way down. Fifteen passengers, who were described as mostly elderly, were injured as well as a tour guide. Many were transported to local hospitals with minor to moderate injuries.
CHP is reporting that the driver, Changefeng Liu, 30, was traveling at an unsafe speed when the accident occurred. He has not been arrested and drugs and alcohol are not considered a factor in the crash; Ironically, the driver is the only person not injured. The exact speed at which Liu was traveling was not specified, but the posted speed limit in the area is 55 MPH and drops to 35 MPH in other areas. The company that operates the tour bus, Seven Happiness & Charter based out of Burlingame, California, specializes in providing tours to the Chinese-American community. The bus has been impounded to determine if there were any mechanical errors that could have also been a factor in the crash.
This is the second major tour bus crash to occur in California in the past two months. In February, 2013, eight people aboard a tour bus were killed when that driver lost control outside of Yucaipa. That company was later banned from operating in the United States, having been deemed an “imminent hazard the public safety”.
Operators of both private and public transit busses are held to an extremely high standard of care to ensure the safety and well-being of passengers. They must make sure that only qualified drivers are operating their busses.
The Orange County bus accident attorneys at the Roberts Law Firm help people injured in bus accidents recover compensation for loss income, medical bills, and pain and suffering.