A deadly I-10 bus accident near Palm Springs claimed the lives of thirteen people and injured thirty-one others last month. A tour bus returning from a casino slammed into a semi-truck that was at a near standstill due to traffic on the highway. The bus accident on I-10 is one the most deadly in California history. Officials haven’t determined the reasons for the collision.
A preliminary examination of the tires and the bus coach showed that half of the eight bus tires were too worn to pass a safety inspection. The bus didn’t have seatbelts. If the bus had seatbelts and the passengers used them, there could have been fewer fatalities. The crash is under investigation by the National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB).
The bus company, USA Holiday Bus based in Los Angeles, was making a trip back from a Southern California casino when the crash occurred around 5:30 am. The company was involved in a collision in 2007 near Riverside, in which three people died. A wrongful death lawsuit filed after the incident was ultimately dismissed. The company’s license had been revoked numerous times, at least twice for allowing their $5 million dollar insurance policy to lapse.
Investigators noted there were no skid marks from the bus, indicating the bus didn’t use the brakes before colliding with the truck. Accidents involving large trucks are often catastrophic.
Hopefully, the federal investigation will reveal what factors contributed to the crash. They will evaluate the condition of the bus, the driver, and the roadway itself. There was utility work being near the highway at the time of the accident.
Families of two of the victims have filed suit against the bus company and the estate of the owner-driver, who died in the crash. More wrongful death lawsuits will surely follow. I-10 consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous highways in America, including sections of I-10 in Arizona.