UNION-TRIBUNE Reporter Dean Calbreath reported that the driver of a North County Transit District bus and six passengers were injured on August 28, 2010, when a pickup truck entered their lane and collided with the bus. The accident happened on North Lake Wohlford Road near Valley Center Road at around 2:00 p.m.. According to California Highway Patrol Sergeant Scott Payson, the truck, which was traveling southbound, swerved into northbound lanes and struck the bus causing moderate damage. The driver of the truck was uninjured, however the driver of the bus and several passengers were transported to the hospital by ambulance. The truck driver is suspected of being distracted, possibly by a cell phone.
Applicable California Law
California Vehicle Code 21651 makes it illegal to cross over a barrier, or double yellow lines, unless designated to do so. Moreover, California Vehicle Code 32123 requires hands free use of cell phones while operating a vehicle. Since Lake Wohlford Road is divided by double yellow lines at the location of the accident, the driver of the truck, crossing into oncoming traffic, would be in a violation statute. Furthermore, if the truck driver was using a cell phone without a hands free device, in addition to being distracted, would also be a violation. Thus, the truck driver would be responsible for the damage to the bus as well as its occupants. The question being, with seven potential injury claims does the truck and or the driver carry adequate insurance limits?
Having traveled Lake Wohlford Road on several occasions, and having represented several individuals who were injured in accidents on that road, I know how treacherous it can be. It is primarily one narrow lane in each direction, which makes driving extremely hazardous. The danger of accidents resulting in serious injuries is even greater when trucks, buses, or autos are involved. If you, or someone you love, has been seriously injured by a careless driver, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney.