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10 People Killed When Truck Hit Tour Bus

Many people choose to travel by bus, believing that the bus, bus driver, and owner will ensure a safe and convenient means of transportation. Most of the time, bus trips are safe and the passengers on board arrive at their destinations without incident. Unfortunately not everyone is as lucky, though, with some bus passengers becoming the victims of bus accidents every year.

When a passenger on board a bus is injured in an accident, that passenger may be entitled to financial relief for his or her damages. A victim can seek to recover through the use of a civil claim for damages including things like medical and surgical expenses, lost wages, and permanency of injuries. If you have been involved in an accident, speaking with a personal injury lawyer may help you understand your legal rights and options following a crash.

A tragic accident in California occurred today and left at least 10 people dead. At this time, local authorities have confirmed that a collision between a charter tour bus and a truck on Interstate 5. It appears that a driver of a FedEx truck crossed a barrier and continued traveling until it sideswiped a car and then collided with the bus in a head-on collision.

The bus was transporting Los Angels and San Francisco high school students to Humboldt State for a college tour. The program targets first generation and low income prospective college students to Humboldt State to introduce the students to the campus. Five of those students were killed in the crash in addition to the driver of the bus, the driver of the truck, and three chaperones. In addition to those victims that lost their lives, many others sustained serious injuries. In all, at least thirty-four people were transported to hospitals in the area by either land or air ambulance.

The force of the crash caused massive devastation to the three vehicles involved, leaving pieces of the vehicles littering the highway. Police are still sorting through the facts of the crash and interviewing witnesses to the incident.
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Students injured in Phoenix area school bus crash

An Arizona school bus vs. dump truck accident last week has resulted in injuries to four kids and a bus driver, according to ABC news. The collision occurred at approximately 6:50 AM on Monday as the school bus was stopped to load children in the area of 56th and Missouri avenues in Glendale.

At the time of impact, two girls were getting on the bus and two children and the bus driver were already on board, according to Glendale police. The two kids boarding the bus were seriously injured. All five were taken by ambulance to an area hospital. None of the injuries are reportedly life-threatening.

The bus was stopped in the roadway in the right lane of Missouri Avenue. Witnesses to the incident say that the school bus had its stop sign raised. Police did not know why the dump truck failed to stop.

A spokesperson from the Glendale Police Department used the accident as an opportunity to remind the public to use extra caution in the area of school buses, further stating that it is against the law to pass a school bus when it’s octagon stop sign is out, and that under Arizona law motorists on both sides of the street must come to a stop and can only resume driving when the bus starts to move.

According to, more than 23 million students travel to school on school buses. The website gives many safety tips to avoid collisions with students and school buses, such as:

When exiting your driveway be on the lookout for kids walking or bicycling to school;

Use extra caution when traveling through school zone areas;

Be on the lookout for kids walking in the street, especially when there are no sidewalks; and
Slow down when in the area of children waiting and playing at bus stops.

Phoenix injury lawyers at our office are currently working on two separate school bus accident cases. Children involved in this type of collision are very susceptible to injury, as they are typically not seat belted and can be thrown around during impact.
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Season brings increase of Arizona bus accidents – Phoenix accidents involving vans, taxis and shuttle services

The safety of small tour buses and 15-passenger vans is again being called into question in the wake of last week’s fatal Arizona bus accident. As we reported on our Phoenix Injury Lawyers Blog, 11 passengers were aboard the bus when it rolled over several times on Pierce Ferry Road. Two passengers were killed and several others were taken by helicopter and ambulance to area hospitals with serious injuries. The bus was taking Chinese tourists from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. It is the third high-profile fatal bus accident in Arizona in the past two years.

FOX News reports three Chinese tourists were killed while riding a small shuttle bus carrying 14 people. A personal injury lawsuit has been filed, claiming the driver had been smoking pot the night before and was sustaining himself with nicotine gum and energy drinks at the time of the crash. Investigators believe fatigue was a major factor and that the driver fell asleep, causing the bus to leave the road and flip over. He faces 10 felony counts, including negligent driving under the influence and logbook and lane-change violations.

Our Phoenix Injury Attorneys note that the government just issued a warning to organizations that rely on 15-passenger vans to transport guests after a pair of fatal crashes in New York and Georgia. As Arizona prepares for winter tourist season, more and more of these vans and shuttle buses will be in use by hotels, nursing homes, resorts, churches and other organizations. Such organizations have an obligation to provide for the safety of passengers and guests.

The government deems the 15-passenger vans so dangerous that it has forbidden schools from purchasing new vans for school transportation purposes. The two recent accidents in New York and Georgia claimed 10 lives.

Tire maintenance is vitally important for van safety — tire blowouts frequently contribute to rollover accidents. And the Arizona Department of Transportation frequently cites tire safety as an issue of particular importance on Arizona’s hot, desolate stretches of highway.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also warns that tires degrade over time — and putting a van into service after a period of inactivity — like many businesses and organizations do at the start of tourist season — can be a particularly dangerous time. Spare tires should not be used to replace worn tires and no tires older than 10 years should be left in service at all.

Safety Tips for 15 passenger vans include:

-Owners need to make sure a transport vehicle is properly maintained.

-Drivers need to be properly trained and licensed.

-15-passenger vans are very sensitive to loading and should not be overloaded. Overloading increases rollover risks and reduces handling.

-Owners need to make sure properly sized tires are being used and are properly inflated and in good repair.

-Drivers should check tires for proper tire inflation before every trip. Tires should also be checked thoroughly for signs of wear.

-Passengers should wear their seat belts.
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2 killed in Arizona bus accident

An Arizona bus crash has resulted in the death of two people in serious injuries to several others, according to CNN. The accident occurred in Kingman, Arizona which is part of Mohave County.

It was a single vehicle bus crash that took place just after 8 AM on Sunday. A commercial tour bus reportedly drove off the road and rolled over several times on Pierce Ferry Road near milepost 23, according to NBC news. There were a total of 11 passengers and the driver on board.

Two of the bus passengers died at the accident site, and several other passengers were seriously injured and either helicoptered or taken by ambulance to to area hospitals. Some were taken to Kingman Regional Medical Center. The bus may have been carrying a group of Chinese tourists. The tour bus was traveling from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon.

The bus driver is said to incurred minor injuries and is cooperating with investigating officers. The Mohave County Sheriff’s Department is handling the crash investigation. No reason has yet been given as to why the bus drove off the highway.

It is not been reported if there are any Arizona injury attorneys involved in the case.

Fox news in Arizona is reporting that there is been two other fatal bus crashes in this region over the past two years. One bus crash in January of 2009 killed seven people and injured 10 others. A bus traveling with Chinese tourists coming from the Grand Canyon were in an accident on US 93.

Then in August, 2010 a bus crash on Interstate 15 in southwestern Utah resulted in the death of three Japanese tourists. The bus was doing a four-day national Park tour that included the Grand Canyon.

More than half of all Arizona drunk driving accidents involve car accidents in Phoenix

A total of 29,282 Phoenix car accidents claimed 142 lives and injured 9,714 in 2009, according to statistics being released by the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Maricopa County car accidents accounted for $1.4 billion in losses, or more than half of the $2.7 billion traffic accidents cost Arizona statewide in 2009. More than half of all Arizona drunk driving accidents also occurred in Maricopa County, accounting for 3,601 of the state’s 5,854 traffic crashes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently reported the fewest traffic accidents since 1950. A total of 33,808 motorists were killed on the nation’s roads in 2009, compared to the 37,423 deaths reported in 2008.
Arizona car accidents by county: Maricopa: 68,653 accidents/280 fatalities/21,410 injuries Pima: 15,669 accidents/83 fatalities/5,292 injuries Coconino: 3,768 accidents/39 fatalities/903 injuries Pinal: 3,541 accidents/62 fatalities/1,079 injuries Yavapai: 3,313 accidents/42 fatalities/1,003 injuries Yuma: 2,825 accidents/24 fatalities/968 injuries Mohave: 2,940 accidents/34 fatalities/974 injuries Cochise: 1,876 accidents/30 fatalities/486 injuries Navajo: 1,241 accidents/38 fatalities/360 injuries Gila: 984 accidents/17fatalities/303 injuries Apache: 591 accidents/29 fatalities/203 injuries Santa Cruz: 591 accidents/6 fatalities/149 injuries La Paz: 421 accidents/15 fatalities/131 injuries Graham: 287 accidents/8 fatalities/ 94 injuries Greenlee: 67 accidents/2 fatalities/25 injuries
Arizona pickup truck accidents accounted for nearly 20 percent of all Arizona accidents.

Crashes by vehicle type
Cars: 98,888 Pickup Trucks: 38,674 Station Wagons: 35,990 Tractor-Trailer Accidents: 2,457 Concrete Mixers: 31 Dump Truck Accidents: 164 Garbage Truck Accidents: 121 Tanker Truck Accidents: 42 Tow Truck Accidents: 143 School Bus Accidents: 238 Commercial Bus Accidents: 1,086 Motorcycle Accidents: 3,029 ATV Accidents: 169
Moped Accidents: 21 RV Accidents: 153

Top 5 Most Common Causes of Accidents (non-alcohol):
Speed too fast for conditions: 33,845 Failure to Yield Right of Way: 18,531 Inattention/Distraction: 11,117 Following too Closely: 5,502 Unsafe Lane Change: 5,557 Continue reading “More than half of all Arizona drunk driving accidents involve car accidents in Phoenix”

Arizona pedestrian accident lawyer settles case on behalf of insurance adjuster

A Phoenix pedestrian injury lawyer at Abels & Annes has reached a settlement on behalf of a woman that was hit by a bus in downtown Chicago, Illinois. The plaintiff is a claims adjuster with the major insurance carrier.

Our law firm takes it as a compliment to represent insurance adjusters who have been injured in accidents. Off the top of my head, we currently represent two claims adjusters, an insurance agent, and the daughter of insurance agent, all from major insurance carriers.

The bus vs. pedestrian accident took place back on February 25, 2010 at the intersection of State Street and Lake Street, which is a major downtown intersection. The plaintiff was walking across the intersection in a crosswalk with a green walk sign. At that time the defendant, who was driving a city bus, was traveling northbound and took a right turn to go eastbound. The bus driver failed to observe the pedestrian in the marked crosswalk and hit her.

The Chicago Police Department responded to the collision and handled the investigation. The investigating officer ticketed the bus driver for striking a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk. The defendant later pleaded guilty in traffic court.

Our client started having left leg pain right after the accident. She was seen at an area emergency room the next morning. There, she was examined by physicians and x-rays were taken. X-ray films showed a fracture in her left leg.

The plaintiff went to follow up treatment with an orthopedic physician. The break in her leg was later confirmed by an MRI in March of 2010.

The case was negotiated and resolved without having to go to court.

If you have been hurt in a Phoenix pedestrian accident or bus crash, contact an Arizona injury attorney at Abels & Annes for free consultation. Call 602-819-5191 to speak directly to a lawyer.

Seat belts could reduce the risk of serious and fatal injuries in Arizona bus accidents

Lives could be saved if passengers were buckled up in the event of a Phoenix, Arizona bus accident, the Arizona Republic reported.

The Department of Transportation has proposed the new rule requiring belts for all passengers on tour buses, contending that the measure could have saved the lives of Arizonians killed in a fatal bus rollover in Utah in 2008. If the charges go into effect, all new buses will have lap-and-shoulder belts within three years.

However, the rules would not apply to the 29,000 buses already on the road; and the proposal falls short of some federal safety recommendations.

As our Phoenix accident attorneys have reported on our Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, a number of high-profile Arizona bus accidents have authorities pushing for increased safety measures.

On average, 750 million passengers travel on motor coaches each year — more than the total number of airline passengers. Sightseeing trips and cross-country tours are common. Few of these buses have seat belts and accidents can be catastrophic.

The DOT reports nearly 200 passengers have been killed in the last decade, including 9 who were killed on a ski-trip bus that was en route back to the Valley in 2008. More than half of the deaths involve ejections — something safety advocates contend could be largely prevented with the use of seat belts. DOT claims the use of seat belts could reduce fatalities in rollover crashes by 77 percent.

They use the 2008 crash as an example: The bus driver, who was wearing a seat belt, and one passenger remained on the bus. The other 52 passengers were ejected into the snow and darkness. Nine people were killed and 44 were injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board said the driver was going too fast but also said the lack of safety features contributed to the serious and fatal injuries.

“Contributing to the accident’s severity was the lack of an adequate motor coach occupant protection system,” the agency’s report said. This was because of the Department of Transportation’s “delay in developing and promulgating standards to enhance the protection of motor-coach passengers.”

The board has long called for seat belts and other safety measures on buses, including stronger roofs, emergency window exits and shatter-proof glass.

DOT estimates the cost for seat belts would be about $12,900 in each of the 2,000 new coaches sold each year in the United States.

However, medium size coaches, including school buses, would not be affected. Neither would the almost 30,000 motor coaches on the road.

Teenagers and children continue to be at high-risk for involvement in Phoenix car accidents

A four-car Phoenix car accident on Monday night sent at least four people to the hospital, including three young girls, AZ Family reported.

The crash at 27th Avenue and Southern Avenue involved a total of 8 patients, four of whom refused treatment. In addition to the girls, ages 11, nine and six months, an adult male was also transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

On Tuesday night, a rollover accident seriously injured a teenager in West Phoenix. The Phoenix Fire Department responded to 67th Avenue near Ecanto Boulevard after two vehicles collided and one flipped over. It is unclear what caused the two pickup trucks to collide.

A 19-year-old was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital with serious injuries. The intersection was closed for most of the night while officials investigated and cleanup crews removed debris from the roadway.

Our Arizona injury lawyers continue to report on the large number of traffic accidents involving teenagers. A total of 150 motorists were killed in Arizona accidents involving young drivers in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Meanwhile, authorities are still trying to determine how the identities of two teens were mixed up following an Arizona car accident. The Associated Press reported that a heavy caseload and a delay in examining dental records led to the horrendous error.

As we reported last week on our Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, one family spent a week preparing for a funeral while the other family spent the week at the bedside of a teen recovering from the accident.

Authorities then had to acknowledge that they had misidentified the surviving teenager.

Safety violations, evading detection, alleged in fatal Phoenix bus accident

Federal authorities have fined a Van Nuys busing company more than $72,000 for safety violations in the wake of a Phoenix bus accident that killed six passengers in March, according to the Arizona Republic.

We reported in April on our Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog that a 130-page report by the Arizona Department of Public Safety blamed negligent operation and numerous safety violations for the accident. Six of 22 passengers were killed when the bus plunged off the freeway and overturned. It had been traveling from Los Angeles to New Mexico when it struck a pickup truck on I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the $72,760 fine on Monday. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recommended the fines as a result of its investigation.

The federal government charged the owner of the busing company with 78 violations of 13 motor-carrier safety regulations. Violations include operating without federal authority or required insurance and violating driver qualification, hours of service and maintenance requirements. The company has until July 12 to contest the claims.

The Republic reports that the company has a history of violations and was suspended from operating for lack of insurance in April 2009. The owner allegedly used four different names over a period of several years in order to evade federal orders to cease operations.

The Arizona Department of Transportation reports that 233 Arizona bus accidents occurred in 2008, the last year for which statistics are available. Four people were killed and 45 were seriously injured.

Phoenix car accident injures grandmother, six children, after crash with Valley Metro bus

A grandmother and six children were injured a week ago Thursday, along with several bus passengers, after a Phoenix car accident involving a Valley Metro bus, ABC15 reported.

The Phoenix fire department reported that the accident happened at the end of the off ramp from northbound Interstate 17 at Rose Garden Lane. A 54-year-old woman and her six grandchildren — including two infants and children ages 2,3,6 and 9 — were all injured after the van rolled onto its side.

Cause of the accident is under investigation. Several passengers on the bus were also injured and were treated at the scene. The Arizona Republic reported the woman and children were wearing their seat belts and are expected to recover from their injuries.

The accident closed southbound I-17 at the Rose Garden ramp and Eastbound Rose Garden at 27th Avenue.

A total of 1,020 Arizona bus accidents occurred in 2008, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Seven people were killed 207 were injured.

As we reported last month on our Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, six people were killed in an Arizona bus accident in March. An investigation by the Arizona Department of Public Safety found numerous safety and maintenance violations could have been partially to blame. The driver was also believed to have been speeding at the time of the accident and may have fallen asleep at the wheel.