The epidemic of bus crashes seems to continue unabated. The situation has been bad enough in recent years to cause the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to crack down on bus companies that don’t follow the rules. The campaign, which they named “Operation Quick Strike,” has resulted in the closing of 52 bus companies so far this year, because they were deemed to be operating unsafely. About one out of every four buses they inspected did not meet basic standards.
And the bus accidents continue. The latest is an accident on Interstate 10 near Seguin, which is about 30 miles northeast of San Antonio. The bus is owned by Turimex Internacional, a bus company that offers regular passenger bus service between Mexico and the United States. In the accident, which occurred at about 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 16, the bus driver apparently lost control as he changed lanes heading westbound, and swerved into the center median before hitting an embankment, according to police reports.
As a result of the accident, a total of 13 people were injured, including children ages 2, 12 and 14. Twelve of the victims were transported to Guadalupe Regional Medical Center, where most were treated and released either that night or the next day. One passenger, however, suffered what were described as “life-threatening injuries,” and was airlifted to University Hospital in San Antonio. In all, there were 20 passengers aboard the bus. Thankfully, the person with the worst injuries survived.
An investigation is underway, and a lot of questions will have to be answered. It’s not clear what speed the bus was going at the time of the accident, however, or what caused the bus to swerve. The cause may have been a design or mechanical problem with the truck. There may have been a slick spot on the road. The driver was over-tired because he’d been driving too long, or was under medication that affected his ability to concentrate. Perhaps another vehicle caused him to swerve. He may have been inexperienced and had no business driving a bus full of people in the first place.
That federal safety officials are working hard to prevent bus accidents is great, and putting bus companies on the spot is a hopeful sign. But as long as some bus companies put profits ahead of safety, passengers will be at risk. That hasn’t been determined here, but it’s still early.
If you or a loved one has have been injured or killed in a bus accident, please call the Texas Bus Accident Lawyer at Hill Law Firm today for a free consultation, to protect your rights and the rights of your loved ones.