GBW Fights for Better Bus Safety Regulations
On April 10, 2014, dozens of college-bound, high school students from Southern California boarded a charter bus to visit Humboldt State University. On the last leg of the ride, a FedEx tractor-trailer jumped the median on Interstate 5 in Orland, CA and smashed into the bus.
The collision sparked a gas-fueled inferno that engulfed the bus, killing 10 people. 39 survivors scrambled in terror to find an exit at the back of the bus but one didn’t exist. A quick-thinking student kicked out a window, allowing the injured to escape. SB 274, also known as “The Passenger Charter-party Carriers’ Act” was authored by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens). The new law requires all California charter bus drivers to give written or oral safety instructions before each trip, just like what flight attendants do for plane passengers. It also requires buses manufactured after July 1, 2020 to be equipped with emergency lighting that turns on in the event of an impact or collision. Today’s buses have many interior fixtures constructed with flammable plastic, which can easily catch fire in accidents. Outdated federal standards no longer apply to modern day motor coaches, which can carry up to 80 passengers. The law mandates buses to have fewer flammable materials, along with a second emergency door, push-out windows and well-lit exit signs. Greene Broillet & Wheeler represents several plaintiffs who suffered injuries or had loved ones who died in the Orland bus crash.
Watch the videos and read the articles below to learn more about Greene Broillet & Wheeler’s involvement in the Orland bus crash case and our commitment to making California roadways safer for everyone.
June 13, 2016
Partner Geoff Wells and our client, Santiago Calderon, testified today before the Assembly on Charter bus transportation: safety improvements.
Calderon is one of the survivors of the Orland, CA charter bus crash involving a FedEx tractor-trailer that slammed into the bus, sparking a fatal fire. SB247 is a bill under consideration in the Assembly that would increase safety standards for California charter buses.
Fox40 News: Coverage of Bus Safety Legislation Hearings
This article discusses our efforts at the bus safety legislation hearings and also features a video.
NBC Los Angeles ran a NewsConference EXTRA segment featuring GBW partner Geoff Wells and his client, Santiago Calderon.
The station previously discussed the situation when a CHP report was released earlier in the year.