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The severity of this May 4 crash included a fuel tank ripped open as driver rear-ended a limo bus owned by The Limousine Scene of Bakersfield, Calif.
Our 21-year-old company has sustained five fleet vehicle crashes, the last two involving buses. I have learned many lessons from these accidents and realize the value of planning for accidents and attempting to avoid them altogether. Since our inception, we have traveled more than 20 million miles. I attribute our low accident rate to good hiring practices, ongoing training, and monitoring. Three were not our fault, one was deemed 50/50, and one “at fault” is in litigation where a jury will decide.
Bus Accident No. 1:
Our driver was traveling west on a two-lane highway following a dump truck in September 2011. The driver of the dump truck moved to the left lane while our driver maintained his position. The dump truck driver inexplicably applied his brakes with enough force to skid and made a hard right turn in front of us in an attempt to U-Turn to a dirt road and travel east in a construction zone. Our driver broadsided the truck and was deemed at fault for following too close. This case is in litigation and we expect a jury to exonerate us or at least place some blame on the dump truck driver. The bus had several passengers that were injured and airlifted from the crash site in a remote area. The remaining passengers were transported by vans back to the pickup location. (See “Limo Bus Collision Jolts Veteran Operator,” LCT Magazine, December 2011).
Bus Accident No. 2:
Our driver was set up for a left turn into our yard in a lane of travel on May 4. He was stopped with his left turn signal on and waiting for opposing traffic to clear. He was rear-ended at high-speed by a drunk driver who was texting while driving and admitted to both being intoxicated and texting while driving. No passengers were on the bus. Our driver was injured.