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Tour Bus Owners Issue Apology For Deadly Crash on State Route 38

The operator of a tour bus owned by a San Diego-area company apologized through its Facebook page.

The operator of a tour bus owned by a San Diego-area company issued an apology today in the aftermath of a multiple-fatality weekend collision involving the vehicle on a mountain road in Mentone.

Officials with Tijuana-based InterBus Tours & Charters stated on their Facebook page, in Spanish and English, that they "deeply regret" the deaths of at least nine people and the injuries suffered by about three dozen others Sunday evening while "coming down from the mountains of Big Bear" on Highway 38 in Yucaipa.

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The bus, owned by Scapadas Magicas of National City, hit a car and a pickup truck and overturned at approximately 6:30 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol and fire department officials.

Interbus Tours & Charters was leasing the bus from Scapadas Magicas, according to an Interbus official.

In all, 43 people were involved in the crash -- 38 passengers and the driver on the bus and two each in the other vehicles -- according to authorities. A triage area was set up to treat the patients at the scene before they were taken to hospitals, some with life-threatening injuries.

The number of confirmed deaths was likely to rise, CHP public-affairs Officer Mario Lopez told reporters this morning.

Initial evidence suggested that the brakes on the tour coach gave out, an InterBus official told news crews.

Scapadas Magicas failed in excess of one-third of its government vehicle- safety inspections in the past two years, sometimes due to problems with brakes and tires, according to published reports. Its safety history ranks in the bottom one-quarter of comparable U.S. companies, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration records show.

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Ben February 05, 2013 at 11:40 PM
What a crock, this practice of saying sorry about causing such harm, when it was your deliberate negligence that caused the harm. Forget the sorry, start writing the checks for medical bills and funeral costs, and go ask God, and these families, for forgiveness.
Jim Shipp February 06, 2013 at 05:30 AM
According to the Sun newspaper, THIS bus failed its latest inspection, failing due to brakes and axle deficiencies. How does this happen? Shouldn't a bus be grounded until the problems are corrected?
Jolly Roger February 06, 2013 at 07:46 AM
There is a certain level of due diligence that must be done by the patrons of any service. By not researching the safety record of a company you entrust with your life, you inherit the risk. You can shout all you want about the company’s negligence but the passengers and driver were just as negligent or accepted the risk. Since the patrons were negligent or accepted the risk, I’m not sure that they would or should be entitled to compensation. The people in the other vehicles are genuine victims and should be compensated. The fact that this happened is indeed sad, however; accidents such as this are very uncommon because of the bureaucracy set in place. And because of the rarity of these accidents the system seems to be working. Every once and a while something is going to slip through, such as in this case, but I don’t think that this rare occasion warrants a complete overhaul of the system. I feel the resources could be better spent somewhere else. I’m aware no one is really calling for an overhaul but this is usually where this sort of stuff leads. Call if a preemptive strike if you like…
beaumontdave February 07, 2013 at 02:54 AM
I think your overstating what qualifies as negligence. Getting on the bus without research doesn't compare with not maintaining business equipment properly. Most people would just ride the bus. Do you spend much time on elevator records and taxicab certifications before you get in them? Because the system generally works, we learn to trust. This is not negligence.
Jolly Roger February 08, 2013 at 09:49 AM
Dave, I don’t think that I am. This sort of seems like Tort Law 101. Taking things on faith is almost the definition of negligence. This bus ride wasn’t the school bus; this was a charted tour bus. You would have to contact the company and purchase a ticket. This is in no way similar to something as routine as an elevator or taxicab. Because you learn to trust something doesn’t absolve you from being negligent.

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