Law Office of Lowell Steiger

Metro Bus and Blue Line Collide: What Is Going On Here?

Author: Lowell Steiger

Published On: September 19, 2008

What is going on here in Los Angeles? Today a Metro Bus and a Blue Line Bus crashed with 15 injured so far. Last week we had the horrific Metrolink Crash which left 25 people dead and countless seriously injured. I’ve represented many people injured in accidents involving the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority, also known as the MTA. Accidents happen BUT when bus drivers or train engineers are even momentarily careless, huge numbers of people become injured victims. Mass Transit can instantly become Mass Destruction.

Graphic Scene and Rescue Photos Here

Since these buses are run by the government, by law injured people will have to file a claim with the appropriate governmental agencies. Government Code Sections 910-913.2 control how and when the claim must be made. In particular, and with very few exceptions, the claim MUST BE MADE WITHIN SIX (6) MONTHS OF THE DATE OF THE ACCIDENT or the victims may forever lose their rights to be compensated for their injuries.

Here’s the story on today’s crash by The Associated Press:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A light rail train slammed into a bus near downtown during Friday morning’s commute, injuring 14 people, none seriously, officials said.

The Metro Blue Line train was on a run to Long Beach while the bus was not in service. Fourteen people from the train, including the operator, suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital, Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Luis Inzunza said.

“We had an out-of-service bus turn in front of the train,” said Marc Littman, another spokesman for the MTA, which operates both the train and the bus. “We don’t know who had the right of way.”

The impact knocked the front car of the electric train off the track. The other cars remained on the track.

Inzunza said the speed limit for trains in the area is 35 mph. The bus was being driven by a mechanic, who was not injured.

The crash comes just a week after a Metrolink commuter train smashed into a freight train in the San Fernando Valley, about 30 miles northwest of downtown, killing 25 people and injuring more than 130.

More than an hour after the accident, the smell of compressed natural gas leaking from the bus was still strong.

Chris Romero, 31, who lives nearby, said the screeching metal woke him up and he came running over. The crash, coupled with the Metrolink accident, has made him wary of taking the train.

“With everything that’s going on, it’s scary to go on the Metro,” he said in Spanish through an interpreter.

The Blue Line, which runs from downtown to Long Beach, started service in 1990 and is the oldest part of MTA’s popular light rail system.

Metro Rail service covers 73 miles of track and 62 stations, including street-level light rail, two subway lines and some elevated track. Estimated weekday ridership totals more than 300,000 boardings.

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I’m passionate about representing my injured clients. I'm a Personal injury lawyer who treats you with the respect that you deserve.

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