Company owner could face murder charges after bus accident

California authorities are considering filing criminal charges for murder against the owner of a party bus company after the 2013 death of a passenger. Officers with the California Highway Patrol have just released the traffic collision report in the case, which occurred when the 24-year-old victim fell out of a ‘party bus’ while riding on the 101 Freeway in Studio City. The victim suffered serious injury when he fell down the steps of the Ford bus.

Official reports show that more than two dozen passengers were on the bus at the time of the incident. Commercial vehicle inspectors with the CHP said they found that the passenger door on the bus was malfunctioning. A sudden movement from the bus caused the man to lose his balance and fly out the passenger door. He fell from the vehicle despite the efforts of his friends, who attempted to hold onto his hands and clothing. The victim was struck by the rear wheels of the bus before being struck by other cars on the busy road.

Although company representatives are attempting to discredit the man’s friends — saying that they pushed him out of the bus — a police investigation indicates otherwise. Angry friends of the victim accuse the company’s owner of simply attempting to divert attention and blame others for the wreck. Further, it appears that the motor carrier safety unit of the California Highway Patrol had given the company an unsatisfactory safety inspection rating. Critics have said that the inspection system in the state is unreliable and inadequate for policing the transportation industry.

The City News Service of Los Angeles indicates that the family members of this victim are pursuing wrongful death claims against the driver and the company that employed him. Relatives of others who have perished because of someone else’s negligence may be entitled to financial compensation. California personal injury attorneys may be able to provide additional information for such family members.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “CHP recommends murder charge in party bus accident” Ruben Vives, Feb. 27, 2014