A spokesperson from the California Highway Patrol said that a tour bus was traveling at an unsafe speed down a curvy mountain road when it crashed into a tree, injuring 16 people over the weekend. The mostly elderly passengers and their tour guide suffered from some moderate and minor injuries, but luckily none were seriously hurt during the accident.
Police said that it was actually fortunate that the bus hit the tree, since it otherwise would have continued to travel and would have likely gone down the ravine.
The road where the bus accident occurred was near Yosemite park and is a scenic highway that is very beautiful but also dangerous. It has sharp curves, and as a result, the speed is only 35 miles per hour.
Authorities say that they do not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash, and the busy company has not been implicated in any other accidents within the past two years.
As we've discussed in the past, commercial transportation companies owe a duty to their customers to maintain safe vehicles and well-trained drivers. In situations where accidents result from a violation of relevant safety regulations or traffic laws, bus companies may be held responsible for failing to take adequate precautions to prevent injuries. The driver may also be liable in some cases where they acted negligently or recklessly.
People who are injured in these types of accidents can seek compensation from commercial transportation companies for costs like medical expenses or time away from work.
Source: Associated Press, "CHP: Bus at 'unsafe' speed before Yosemite wreck," John S. Marshall, April 14, 2013.
Information about recovery for accident victims can be found on our personal injury page.