At 2:15 am last night near Fresno, California, a Greyhound bus struck a car and an overturned minivan and all three vehicles flew down an embankment along the side of the road. The bus hit a big gum tree and the driver was killed.
Five other people were also killed, one of whom was in the minivan, and when authorities arrived, the bus driver and four others were dead at the accident scene and one man died later on. Also, four bus passengers sustained serious injuries and 24 sustained more minor injuries. The passengers were trying to help each other out of the wreck when police arrived.
There was an eye witness, a taxi driver named Mike Coupland, who told reporters that the impact was:
•“… like a bomb going off. Just pieces and parts everywhere. It was terrible.”
He said the bus driver was “doing nothing wrong” and that he saw the minivan lying on the road “at the last second”, with “no lights, no nothing” to indicate its presence. The bus driver had no time to avoid hitting it.
Officer Kirk Arnold of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) said:
•“We’re still trying to piece everything together.”
The bus had stopped in Fresno and was on Highway 99, headed to its next stop in Madera. It is not yet clear how many passengers were on the bus. Officer Arnold told reporters that the bus had 47 passengers but a Greyhound spokesman said there were 35.
The northbound lanes on Highway 99 were closed soon after the accident and relief buses were sent to pick up Greyhound passengers who had not been hurt.
According to a later report, the bus swerved to avoid another accident, hit a concrete divider, and then went down the embankment. Apparently the car and the minivan had been involved in an accident which had overturned the minivan. Photos of the bus show it as entirely smashed except for the rear where two windows are still intact. The rest is a jumble of tree branches and metal.
So there are two separate accidents involved here and authorities say it will be a long investigation to get clear on what happened.
If you have been hurt in an auto accident or bus accident and would like to consult with an experienced auto accident attorney about your legal rights and options, please contact our Mobile, Alabama law office today.