The deadly California freeway bus crash that occurred on I-10 near Palm Springs Sunday morning resulted in 13 deaths and 31 people taken to the hospital. It is believed that none of the passengers were wearing seat belts.
The California Highway Patrol chief said that they may never know the cause of the crash because the driver died. Although authorities were not releasing identities of those who died, neighbors identified the bus driver as Elias Vides, who owned the tour bus company.
The bus was traveling west when it plowed into a truck early Sunday. It was carrying passengers from Red Earth Casino in Salton City to Los Angeles. The chief said that surviving passengers believed everyone was asleep at the time of the crash.
Even though the cause may never be known, people will still speculate as to why the crash occurred. The bus had been inspected regularly, last time in April 2016, and no mechanical violations were found.
However, the crash was probably made much worse by one of the most commonplace safety flaws on buses: the fact that there are no seat belts. The extent of the injuries led authorities to believe that the passengers were not wearing seat belts. It’s not only uncommon to not have seat-belts on buses but it’s also not expected. It’s a shame that something so simple could have prevented the deaths and injuries on the bus Sunday and in other bus crashes. When you are riding a bus, taking a tour, and having fun, the last thing you would expect would be this fatal accident.
Some people speculated as to why the accident occurred. The bus driver could have been following too closely to the vehicle in front of him. An abrupt stop or change in speed could have left the bus plowing into the back of the truck.
Others speculated that it might be inattentive driving that caused the crash. The driver could have been texting while driving. It could have been a combination of both following too closely and not paying attention.
Still others commented on the area of the highway that they were on, saying that it was particularly dangerous. There is a hot air and cool air exchange that can cause massive gusts of wind and thus deadly crashes.
Whatever the reason, the California freeway bus crash was devastating and a tragedy. And it was one that probably could have been prevented with safety measures like seat belts. We may never know the cause of the crash, but our thoughts are with the victims of this bus collision and their families.