Over the weekend a party bus based out of Santa Cruz was involved in a fatal accident on Highway 17. The investigation of the fatal bus accident led to a review of the bus company, and two years ago the commercial bus company was fined for a number of safety violations. Commercial vehicles are subject to safety regulations to prevent commercial truck and bus accidents. Safety violations may show whether the operator of the bus and bus company provided due care to passengers.
This past Friday night, fans of the country singer Brad Paisley attended his concert in Mountain View. Before and after the show commercial transportation companies provided rides to concert-goers. After the show, one group of 12 to 15 fans got a ride from a party bus headed to Los Gatos. While the party bus was traveling on Highway 17 near Los Gatos two women began to fight and the somehow fell out of the bus as it was moving. The party bus ran over the 25-year-old woman while the 20-year-old was not hit. Tragically, the 25-year-old died during the accident. The 20-year-old woman was treated and released from a nearby hospital.
Commercial vehicles like commercial buses and semis are subject to certain federal and state regulations, and the regulations are meant to help ensure the safety of passengers and others on the road. The California Highway Patrol investigation of the bus accident revealed a number of safety violations committed by the operator of the party bus involved in the accident. In 2010, the party bus company was fined nearly $5,000 for multiple violations including operating with a suspended license, failing to test employees for drugs, failing to enroll employees in a state substance and alcohol certification program and other incidents. In 2009, the company also failed to maintain daily reports of bus inspections and the company failed to report the driving records of its drivers.
It's not clear how the two women fell from the moving bus, but the CHP is still investigating the accident. Officers have contacted all of the people aboard the bus Friday night and have seized the party bus.
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, "Party Bus Company has History of Violations: CHP Investigation of Accident Continues," Cathy Kelly, July 31, 2012
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