UPDATE: Driver in Palm Springs Tour Bus Crash Had Checkered Safety Record
The driver in a Palm Springs tour bus accident that left 13 dead and 31 injured had a questionable record when it came to safety, the Los Angeles Times reports. The driver of the casino bus, 59-year-old Teodulo Elias Vides, crashed his USA Holiday bus into the back of a slow-moving big rig on the 10 Freeway as he drove guests back to Los Angeles after a night of gambling at a Salton Sea area casino.
A Dubious Safety Record
The Times reports that this crash, the deadliest in California in several decades, has brought attention to the company’s safety record and the subculture of independent coach operators who make a living out of ferrying gamblers on a budget to and from the region’s casinos. Vides had previously been sued at least twice for negligence after accidents with vehicles, one of which resulted in three deaths.
His company received at least six “unsatisfactory” ratings from the California Highway Patrol, the Times reports. He had also been cited in several counties for traffic violations including speeding, lane-straddling and operating with an expired permit. Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are looking into Vides’ background as well as a variety of other factors that led to the deadly crash including the role of road conditions and lighting.
Injuries and Damages
The injured victims of this crash ranged in ages from 26 to 76 and six of them suffered major injuries. One person remains in serious condition and others have been treated and released from area hospitals. All 13 of the deceased were from Los Angeles. We can only imagine the grief and pain families of deceased victims must be going through at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and the other seriously injured victims of this crash.
What can victims and families do at this time to ensure that their rights are protected? The first step might be to seek the counsel and guidance of an experienced Los Angeles tour bus accident lawyer who will remain on their side, fight for their rights and help them secure maximum compensation for their losses.
Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization and rehabilitation costs and past and future pain and suffering. Families of victims can file what is known as a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical and funeral expenses, pain and suffering, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. In this case, there may be several parties who could potentially be held liable for these tremendous losses.