YahooNews.com reports that the driver of a tour bus who plunged over the side of a central California highway overpass had been involved in a previous injury accident while behind the wheel of a bus.According to the story, bus driver John Egnew struck a pedestrian while operating a bus for Weeks Enterprises in 2005. The injury bus accident took place in Nevada and occurred because Egnew claimed he did not see the pedestrian. As a result of the accident, Egnew was charged with a misdemeanor traffic violation and the bus carrier settled with the injured pedestrian, paying $750,000.
Since the 2005 incident, Weeks Enterprises claims that Egnew has had a solid driving record. However, that record of safety was shattered on April 28, 2009, when Egnew was behind the wheel of an Orion Pacific tour bus. For reasons that are yet unclear, Egnew lost control of the bus while crossing an overpass of US 101 near Soledad. The bus struck the guardrail and flipped on its side. Egnew and several passengers were ejected from the vehicle and fell 60 feet to a set of railroad tracks below the overpass.
This bus accident has claimed five lives so far and caused dozens of injuries, including the passengers, a large group of French tourists on their way to Santa Maria.
Bus charter companies do have a responsibility to monitor the driving records of their employees and to make sound decisions that help protect the safety of their passengers. If you have any questions about the role of company responsibility and liability in a bus accident, please contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas.
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