A festive evening aboard a party bus recently took a tragic turn when a young man lost his life. Now, questions have arisen as to whether the bus itself was in a safe condition.
The 27-year-old man lost his life when he walked towards the driver's area of the party bus in which he was riding in order to adjust the volume on the bus's radio. At that point in time, the bus was going approximately 70 miles per hour on Interstate 294. The man tripped, tumbled down the stairs, and off the bus entirely. Following that, a black SUV struck the man. The victim died at the scene of the accident. The driver of the bus was subsequently cited for not possessing a valid medical card, as well as for the fact that his commercial driver's license lacked a passenger endorsement.
However, three weeks prior the bus reportedly passed a safety inspection, according to the bus owner. The owner claims the bus is checked for safety twice a year. While acknowledging the fatal accident was tragic, the owner maintains the bus was safe. The Illinois Secretary of State lists the bus company as "not in good standing." However, the bus owner claims this is because certain paperwork was not filed on time, and that the situation is being rectified. Nevertheless, the Illinois Department of Transportation, along with police, are investigating whether the bus's door was in proper working order or whether it should have been locked. They are also seeking the driver of the black SUV that hit the victim.
It remains to be seen whether the bus company will face liability in this incident, or whether it was truly just a freak accident. Cases involving the liability of commercial vehicles can be complex. Those who have more questions about which parties can be held liable in bus accidents or other wrecks involving commercial vehicles may want to discuss the matter with an attorney.
Source: Daily Herald, "Owner: Party bus passed inspection weeks before fatal I-294 accident," Jamie Sotonoff, June 5, 2017