Bus Overturns in LA, Injuring Over 50 People

In national news, a tour bus carrying gamblers to a casino overturned along a Southern California freeway after sideswiping a car last week, leaving more than 50 people on board injured.

According to California Highway Patrol Officer Elizabeth Van Valkenburgh,, the driver made an “unsafe lane change” to the left, striking a car in the lane. The driver then overcorrected. The bus then went through a chain-link fence and down a dirt embankment. It finally came to rest on its right side between the freeway and railroad tracks.

Emergency crews, including rescue vehicles, ambulances and helicopters were at the scene of the accident located on Interstate 210 in Irwindale, about 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Rescuers laid out a triage area and assessed the severity of those who were injured in the accident.

The bus was heading to the San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino in Highland after picking up passengers in Monterey Park and San Gabriel when the accident happened. The freeway’s eastbound lanes were at least partially closed for approximately six hours.

The injured passengers were mostly elderly, and most suffered only minor injuries. At least one of the passengers reported that they were wearing a seatbelt. Passengers ranged from age 25 to 92 and only spoke Mandarin or Cantonese. Officials required translators in order to facilitate communication with rescuers and doctors.

The bus driver, Jinquan Yang, 55, of Alhambra, was licensed to drive the bus and suffered minor injuries. The California Highway Patrol says that Yang has not been charged.

The driver whose car Yang struck was not injured in the accident.

Eight of the bus passengers needed immediate medical attention. Five of these eight who were more seriously injured passengers were airlifted by helicopter to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. The patients were listed in guarded condition.

Three of the injured were taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital in nearby Pasadena. Among the three was an 86-year-old man who suffered broken ribs in the crash. All passengers are expected to survive according to hospital spokesman, Kevin Andrus.

The Da Zhen Travel Agency, who operates the bus line, received a “satisfactory” rating during its last major review by federal inspectors in 2010, according to U.S. Department of Transportation records.

Buses are one of the first choices when looking for affordable transportation. Even though buses are a very safe mode of transportation, accidents can happen and accidents involving buses can cause very serious injury or even death. Because most buses lack on-board safety measures, such as seatbelts for passengers, this can put them at risk for serious injuries in the case of an accident. Injuries from bus accidents can be serious or even deadly. Even when a company follows all safety laws and regulations, the worst can happen.

Before you sign a statement or accept any settlement offer from an insurance company, get experienced legal representation on your side by giving our offices a call. Our lawyers have years of experience successfully representing accident cases in the Miami Dade area. We will act as your representative so that the insurance companies will be more likely to give you a more just compensation for your pain and suffering. Injuries as the result of accidents can be expensive. Medical costs, the cost of rehabilitation, time off of work and even dealing with a tragic loss of a loved one mount quickly. We are here not only to get financial compensation for our clients, but to see that justice is done.

When our legal professionals start to work on your case, we will gather all of the information and evidence necessary. If you or a loved one has been a victim in a bus accident, give our offices a call to schedule a consultation at no cost or no obligation to you.