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Tour Bus Accident Near Big Bear

Tragic news out of San Bernardino County. A horrific tour bus accident that has already claimed the lives of 8 people, and injured over 30 people on California Highway 38, a road my family and I travel often to visit the Big Bear Lake area.

As reported in LA Times, the bus driver (chartered by InterBus Tours & Charters) allegedly lost control of the vehicle near the town of Yucaipa as he descended down the mountain. The bus passengers were returning from a day trip to the mountain town. Other vehicles in this deadly motor vehicle accident included a small Saturn sedan, and an oncoming Ford pickup truck.

The LA Times article speculates there may have been mechanical issues with the bus, that may have played a role in the accident, as “Federal transportation records show that the bus involved in the crash had been cited as recently as October, when inspectors found a damaged windshield and noted that there was no properly installed fire extinguisher. In July, they found a faulty axle and brakes. An inspection in May revealed loose or missing wheel fasteners.”

A more recent LA Times report states that, indeed, “Maintenance citations of the tour buses owned by Scapadas Magicas of National City were numerous and serious enough that the company was placed on a federal watch list that flagged its buses for increased roadside inspections. Bald tires, defective or missing axle parts, and insufficient brake linings were among 59 maintenance violations inspectors found on the firm’s buses in the last two years, U.S. Department of Transportation safety records show.”

Our hearts go out to those involved in this gruesome crash, the victims and their families and friends.
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While many accidents cannot be prevented, there are (as in this case) many injury accidents that have foreseeable dangers. Please consider checking the safety records of the bus fleet company if you plan on traveling on a tour bus. These following links can help you do your own research:

USDT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

About.com’s Senior Travel Guide