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Manhattan Beach teen dies on tour bus

Every year, millions of teenagers across the state of California and the entire country celebrate events like birthday parties on tour buses and limousines. Parties are chaperoned in some cases, but other times kids are left with very little adult supervision. That is why it is important that tour bus drivers and companies are properly trained and licensed to transport underage passengers.

Following a fatal accident on a double-decker tour bus on the 405 freeway recently, several of the passengers conceded to California Highway Patrol officers that they were not aware that the bus was even equipped with seatbelts. The bus had been rented out for a private party for a group of teenagers, and one of them claimed that the seatbelts were not easily visible on the seats. Authorities were in the process of determining whether or not alcohol was on the bus when the fatal incident occurred.

The teenage bus riders also claimed that they did not receive any safety guidelines prior to boarding the vehicle and that it was never specifically stated that standing on the bus’s upper deck was prohibited. The group of teenagers were apparently standing and dancing on the upper deck to the bus when one of them was struck in the head by a freeway overpass. The 16-year-old accident victim did not see the low, approaching overpass, according to one of his friends.

The tour bus company involved in the fatality incident was reportedly insured and licensed. It was not stated whether the bus driver knew the kids were not wearing their seatbelts. In the event that a person and/or company are found liable for causing a fatal accident, wrongful death claims may be pursued by victims and their families.

Source: NBC Los Angeles, “No Safety Instructions Given Before Fatality on Double Decker Bus: Teens,” Hetty Chang, July 14, 2014

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