A fatal car crash caused six to die this morning when a bus hit a pickup and rolled over on the interstate south of Phoenix.
Come to find out…the bus company involved in the accident has been operating without insurance for almost a year, and its buses should not have been on the road!
The carrier is a company by the name of Tierra Santa Inc. who lost its authorization to operate on April 1, 2009 but has been continuing to put its buses out on the roads none-the-less.
In the last two years, the company has been involved in only one other crash, but this morning’s event certainly was catastrophic for all involved.
Furthermore, the company has a history of violations, including one failed bus inspection resulting in the bus being taken out of service. Two of the company’s drivers had also lost their authorization to drive.
At about 5:30 a.m. this morning (March 5, 2010) is when the crash occurred. The roof of the bus was crushed and all the windows were knocked out, with one passenger thrown as far as 25 yards.
Sadly, the women and children aboard the bus didn’t fare so well.
Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves said two men and four women, all aboard the bus, were killed. The bus was carrying 22 passengers on its way from central Mexico to Los Angeles. Six died and the surviving 16 passengers were all injured.
An 11-year-old boy and the bus driver were among the patients at the hospital but have been declared as having non-life-threatening injuries.
Eight of the injured were taken to Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, where six were in critical condition with life-threatening injuries ranging from broken spines and pelvises to head injuries.
Emergency crews needed to break the bus’ windows to remove everyone from the vehicle and medical helicopters landed on the freeway to airlift the most critically injured to area hospitals.
The accident scene, about 25 miles south of downtown Phoenix, remains under investigation.