According to the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a bus that was recently involved in the fatal accident that took six lives on Interstate 10 just south of downtown Phoenix was being operated illegally. According to an Associated Press news story, the bus, that had been traveling from Central Mexico to Los Angeles, was carrying 22 passengers at the time of the crash in Sacaton, AZ. Reportedly, the bus rolled over after striking a pickup truck, and the six passengers were thrown from the bus in the process, all of whom died. The remaining 16 passengers on the bus were all injured, as was the driver. Injuries sustained during the crash were mostly deemed serious, and resulted in catastrophic injuries such as broken spines and head injuries. Further investigation into the accident is still pending.
Transportation officials revealed that the bus company, Tierra Santa Inc., had been told that it was not allowed to permit its vehicles to engage in commercial interstate transportation of passengers, yet it was doing exactly that at the time of the Phoenix bus crash. While it remains to be seen to whom liability issues will be assigned, many instances involving bus accidents often result in both the driver and the bus company being deemed at fault. According to the article, police are investigating to determine the state of mind of the bus driver at the time of the accident, particularly if the driver was suffering from fatigue, as well as the maintenance history of the bus. Bus companies have an obligation to ensure that their vehicles are properly maintained, and that their drivers do not violate federal transportation guidelines by driving more hours than they are permitted to in a 24-hour period.
Details regarding this horrible fatal Phoenix bus accident are still being uncovered and the bus accident attorneys at The Breyer Law Offices will continue to monitor new information regarding the crash as it becomes available.