On the morning of Feb. 22, 2020, an Executive Lines bus veered off Interstate 15 and rolled down a roadside embankment near Fallbrook in North San Diego County. Three people were killed and at least 18 people sustained injuries.
According to multiple news agencies, the charter bus was carrying a mix of children and adults from Baldwin Park in Los Angeles to San Ysidro. At approximately 10:20 a.m., the bus driver swerved and lost control of the vehicle on the southbound side of I-15 in Pala Mesa. The charter bus left the roadway and slid down an embankment, coming to rest on its roof. Heavy rain was falling at the time.
Multiple passengers were ejected in the fatal Executive Lines bus accident while others remained trapped in the wreckage. One of the fatalities, a woman, was pinned underneath the bus. The other reported deaths were two women trapped inside the wreckage.
Some victims were able to free themselves and crawl out of the bus. Eighteen people were taken to area hospitals; five to Inland Valley Medical Center, five to Palomar Medical Center, and eight to Temecula Valley Hospital. Among the most seriously injured was a five-year-old boy, who was listed in critical condition with a head injury. Three other passengers suffered major injuries.
The bus driver, who sustained minor injuries, remained at the scene of the accident and was later taken to a station for further questioning. He voluntarily submitted blood and urine samples to law enforcement officials, as is protocol in bus crash investigations. Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor in the San Diego bus crash.
What is Executive Lines?
Executive Lines is a Los Angeles-based bus company that transports passengers between Baldwin Park and San Ysidro. Company buses service several other destinations, including Corona, Escondido, El Monte, Moreno Valley, Pomona, and Temecula.
According to federal records, Executive Lines has not been involved in another accident over the last two years. However, inspections of the company have resulted in roughly 40 violations, including driver hours of service violations and vehicle maintenance violations.
What Caused the Bus Crash in San Diego County?
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) sent a team of four to San Diego County to investigate the fatal Executive Lines crash. The cause of the crash will not be fully known until the NTSB releases its full report, which could take a year or more to complete.
According to bus crash attorney Ronald L.M. Goldman, investigators will be looking for possible mechanical failures, including brake issues and steering problems. They will also be reviewing maintenance records, weather conditions, and the actions of the driver leading up to the incident, and the driver’s history, including his training, experience, logbooks, and whether he had adequate rest before this trip, among other things.
“A full investigation will determine whether Executive Lines and its driver were in compliance with safety regulations for bus charter companies,” says Mr. Goldman. “Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see budget bus companies cut corners by failing to properly maintain their vehicles or failing to properly train their drivers, especially with regard to wet weather driving.”
California Bus Crash Lawyers
The accident attorneys at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman have represented hundreds of people harmed in bus crashes. Our lawyers have been fighting aggressively on behalf of bus accident victims for decades. The firm’s proven track record of success in bus crash cases speaks for itself.
In addition to our successes in the courtroom, we are also advocates for improving transportation safety. We have seen the devastation caused by bus companies and drivers that choose to put profit above passenger safety. As our former clients can attest, we will stop at nothing to obtain justice and maximum compensation on your behalf.
Our bus accident attorneys have represented victims in several major bus crashes, including:
If you or a family member was harmed in the Executive Lines bus crash in San Diego County, you need an experienced bus crash attorney to protect your legal rights and represent your interests. Contact Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman today to find out how we can obtain the justice and compensation you deserve.