An Anaheim bus crash on Tuesday, December 27, 2016, has taken the life of one person and injured 17 others. The fatal California bus accident occurred when a sedan and a bus collided on Harbor Boulevard, near Disneyland. All lanes on Harbor Boulevard were shut down for around five hours while emergency and cleanup crews were on the scene.
Medical Emergency May Have Caused Anaheim Bus Crash
According to reports, 17 people who were on the bus were injured in the accident. Fourteen of those were taken to nearby hospitals with minor injuries but were expected to make full recoveries. The driver of the sedan, however, died in the crash. Authorities believe he may have experienced a medical emergency at the time because his Toyota Avalon sedan unexpectedly swerved across all lanes of traffic and collided head first with the bus.
The Avalon sedan had been traveling southbound on Harbor Boulevard when it swerved into the northbound lanes and crashed with the bus as the bus, which was on its way to Fullerton, pulled away from the curb. The bus itself was traveling around 15 miles per hour when the Anaheim bus crash occurred.
Although the authorities had not released the name of the person who died in the bus accident, news reports indicated the victim was a 60-year-old man.
A witness to the accident told NBC Los Angeles that he heard the car skidding and looked up to see what happened.
“He spun, spun, spun, then I heard what sounded like an explosion,” Benjamin Purney said. As the vehicle swerved, it reportedly left skid marks between 100 and 150 feet in length and smoke came up from the tires. After the collision, a fire began under the hood of the car. The driver of a bus that was carrying Disneyland employees came upon the scene and put out the fire with an extinguisher.
Woman Struck and Killed by West Covina Transit Bus
The Anaheim bus crash was not the only bus-related fatality in California in recent weeks. On December 31, 2016, an 82-year-old woman was walking in West Covina and fell into the street where she was hit by a bus that had just made a right turn. An initial investigation into the crash did not indicate driver error or impairment as factors in the crash. The driver was an employee of Transdev and was under contract to Foothill Transit. Rosa Wong was later identified as the victim of the accident. She died at the scene of multiple blunt force injuries.
Bus Contracted by Google Kills Woman
In addition to the Anaheim bus crash and the West Covina accident, an accident in Saratoga on January 4, 2017, has taken the life of a 51-year-old woman. The woman was walking in through a community college when she was struck by the bus, which was contracted by Google and operated by Storer Coachways. Google employees are allowed to park at West Valley College and take the shuttle to Google’s offices, which are about 12 miles away.
No one on the bus sustained any injuries, but Xiaolan Li died at Valley Medical Center. Authorities believe she was walking home from her work at a retirement center when she was hit by the bus. According to reports, she was in the road when she was hit, although investigators have not said if she was in a crosswalk. Conditions were reportedly wet and windy, with limited visibility.
“A tragic accident took place last night involving a Storer bus and a pedestrian near West Valley College in Saratoga,” a statement from Storer reads. “We are greatly saddened for this loss and offer our heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family.”
Complaints About Private Commuter Shuttles Growing
Locals have complained repeatedly about traffic violations committed by bus drivers who work for or are contracted to tech companies, similar to the one contracted by Google. One local resident monitoring the situation is Edward Mason, a former logistics firm worker who has filed almost 300 complaints about private commuter shuttles, which carry more than 8,500 people a day between San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
Among the complaints made to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) are issues such as private buses in streets they’re not allowed to drive in, shuttles blocking access to transit buses, and incorrect license plates. Residents argue the buses should be more strictly regulated, given the increase of private commuter buses on the road.
Although the shuttle buses decrease the number of cars on the road if they are not being operated in a manner consistent with local regulations they could be putting other drivers and vehicle occupants at risk of a car accident and catastrophic injuries.
Bus Accident Attorney
Baum Hedlund has represented victims of more than 90 bus crashes since 1988 and has been involved in bus safety advocacy to make school buses safer for children. Our attorneys have represented bus crash victims from across the United States in a variety of bus accidents, including city buses, charter buses, and school buses.