According to KSBY, Laur Mae Gish, age 50, of Goleta, was arrested Friday afternoon for being under the influence of a controlled substance after crashing a passenger bus carrying 25 people. The crash reportedly happened on US Highway 101, just a few miles north of the Highway 154 interchange.
According to reports, at least six passengers were taken to the hospital with various injuries. The bus drifted to the side of the road, hit a tree, and flipped onto its side. With many buses not providing seatbelts for passengers, this type of crash can have devastating consequences, including broken bones and traumatic brain injuries.
Any driver is responsible for negligent driving, but a bus driver owes an even higher standard of care. In California, a Common Carrier must use the “highest care and vigilance of a very cautious person. They must do all that human care, vigilance, and foresight reasonably can do under the circumstances to avoid harm to passengers.”
In addition to the driver, the employer is most certainly also liable for the crash. The driver was no doubt driving in the course and scope of her employment, which makes the employer vicariously liable.
Another key determination will be the drug use history. A bus company has a duty to drug test drivers on a random basis. Employing a driver with a drug use history is a violation and can lead to punitive damages.
If you have been injured in a commercial vehicle crash, contact the personal injury attorneys at Ernst Law Group today at (805) 541-0300.