SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY – Seven people were tragically killed and more than three dozen were injured in a tour bus accident that occurred Sunday evening near Yucaipa. Authorities from the California Highway Patrol said at about 6:30 p.m., a tour bus carrying 38 passengers from Tijuana, Mexico, careened out of control while traveling on State Route 38, struck a Saturn sedan, flipped, and then plowed into a Ford pickup truck before coming to a stop on the side of a mountain. The tour group was returning home to Tijuana after a day trip to Big Bear Lake, a popular winter destination.
According to news reports, the tour bus, which is operated by Scapadas Magicas, had been the subject of four safety violations within the last two years. In 2011, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulators cited the bus for insufficient brake linings and warning devices, and in 2012, regulators issued violations for out-of-service brakes, defective or missing axle parts, and loose or missing wheel fasteners.
Authorities have not yet determined whether or not Scapadas Magicas completed needed repairs and are unclear as to whether or not inspectors followed up on the citations.
Allegedly, the bus driver told investigators the bus suffered brake failure as it traveled down State Route 38, however, investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are trying to determine if mechanical failure or driver error was the cause of the crash.
While authorities conclude their investigation of this heartbreaking accident, it is highly recommended the victims and victims’ families consult a skilled attorney at the law firm of Estey Bomberger. For several decades throughout the state, we have successfully represented the seriously injured and bereaved. Please call our firm today to arrange a free case consultation.