Fatal Bus Crash Investigation

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August 08, 2016
Edward Smith

Fatal Bus Crash Investigation

Bay Area Crash Kills Elk Grove Teen

Fatal Bus Crash Investigation

I’m Ed Smith, an Atwater CA Personal Injury Attorney.  On August 2, 2016, a bus carrying approximately thirty passengers crashed into the pole of a freeway exit sign near Atwater, California.  The impact with the pole caused the bus to be nearly cut in half.  Four people lost their lives while many more were injured; the subsequent accident scene was a horrific one.

Details of Crash

A bus that was headed north through California to Washington State and carrying mostly Hispanic farm workers crashed into a pole causing four fatalities and injuring and disfiguring several others.  One victim relayed that only about eight people walked away from the crash with minor or no injuries.  Three victims were declared in critical condition.  The scene was a tragic one as many of the occupants lost limbs in the crash.

The Cause of the Crash is Under Investigation

There are multiple reports regarding what may have led to the crash.  One possible cause of the accident may be fatigue caused by too much behind the wheel time on the part of the bus driver.  The driver of this bus has not been able to be interviewed by authorities due to his injuries.  Per federal laws, bus drivers can only be behind the wheel for a ten-hour maximum time limit before taking a mandatory eight-hour rest break.  The investigation for this collision could take several months to complete.

Driver Allegedly Behind Wheel Longer Than Allowable

Early reports are indicating that the bus driver should have relieved himself of his duties at approximately 1:30 A.M. while this collision took place at about 3:30 A.M.  It appears that the company that sponsored this trip and the driver may have a clouded history of previous problems as it relates to driving beyond the time limit. At least one passenger from the bus claims that the bus may have been attempting to pass another vehicle, a vehicle that the bus driver may have thought would allow the bus to merge but didn’t- when it didn’t the bus veered off the road and struck the exit sign for Exit 201 for Hammatt Avenue.


While the investigation may take several months to complete, the cause of the incident will have little to no bearing on those that lost a loved one, family member, or friend in this incident.  Some of the victims were heading north through California and into Oregon and Washington to visit family members.  Many of the occupants of this vehicle were residents of Mexico and either looking for farm work or visiting relatives.

Atwater Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, an Atwater Personal Injury Attorney. If you or a member of your family has been seriously injured in an automobile, bus, or other personal injury accident, please call me at (209) 227-1931 for free, friendly advice. Elsewhere, dial me toll free at (800) 404-5400.

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