In order to save money, many people choose to travel on commercial vehicles. In order to ensure passenger safety, drivers must be well-trained professionals, and vehicles must be kept in good condition. Unfortunately, accidents involving commercial vehicles, including truck accidents, can result in serious harm. For example, authorities in California are still working to determine the exact cause of a recent bus crash that killed five people and injured 18 others.

According to accounts, the bus veered unexpectedly off the roadway, striking a pole holding a traffic sign. Reports indicate that the pole nearly cut the bus in half. Following the initial strike, the bus did not come to a stop until the pole encountered the bus’s rear axle.

The bus reportedly contained approximately 30 people. One passenger claims that all but about eight people suffered injuries, while reports indicate that five people were killed. Three people were initially listed in critical condition but have since been upgraded to serious, and three more are listed in fair with the other victims suffering less severe injuries. Police are unsure what caused the driver to veer off the road and have yet to interview him due to the severity of his injuries. One witness claims that another vehicle may have played a role in the accident.

While California police are working to determine the exact cause of the crash, the victims — including the surviving family members of the deceased — are likely still coming to terms with the injuries and losses. In addition to physical and emotional consequences, victims of bus and truck accidents often face significant financial harm due to funeral expenses, lost wages and medical costs. However, these victims have the option of seeking recompense in a civil court. A successfully presented case could result in an award of damages, if negligence can be proved.

Source: CBS News, “California bus crash survivor describes death and chaos“, Aug. 3, 2016