In the wake of the terrible tour bus crash in Union Square earlier this month, victims have begun speaking out and even Mayor Lee is beginning to take action. Dr. Manuel Canga, who was on his way to an embassy downtown, simply took a wrong turn into Union Square, finding himself in the wrong place and the wrong time. Canga, who was traveling with his brother, was in a white BMW in Union Square that Friday, the 13th.
Canga describes the accident as a “big bang…like ‘bang!’…and I was like ‘oh my god! what’s happening?!” Canga was reacting to the City Sightseeing tour bus careening down the street and crashing into some cars and a scaffolding in an attempt to stop.
Canga’s brother, who was in the car with him, passed out. Canga remembers him screaming for him: “I said you know, ‘wake up! wake up! we have to get out of this car because it’s smoking!” His brother’s back was broken in the bus vs. car accident.
Canga suffered arm and leg injuries, and is traumatized from the event: “I cannot sleep at night. I’m always putting on my brakes every time I drive.” Later he would learn thatthe tour bus was not properly registered with the California Public Utilities Commission, and that the bus was never inspected by the CHP: “It’s very upsetting because it could have been prevented.” Canga said. He added that he is thankful for the bus driver, realizing that “He did his best to really save a lot of lives.”
Mayor Lee is even taking steps to avoid future crashes after hearing of the tour bus incident, calling for every tour bus in the state to be inspected each year in order to prevent any future San Francisco tour bus accidents.
Regulators are now saying that the bus should have never even been on the road, before being carefully checked by the CHP. And unfortunately the problems run even deeper, with state protocols for annual inspections only applying to a third of each carrier’s fleet. How can we have some of the biggest most dangerous vehicles on our roadways running around without any public inspection or approval? This is one very big crack to fall through, and I am starting to think that this bus driver was a real hero, like a pilot forced to crash land a passenger jet after an engine failure.
“They claim the system does work, but obviously what we are seeing is that it doesn’t work.” said Senator Jerry Hill, who wants regulators to tighten their oversight of commercial vehicles “…What this shows us is that the system obviously is not safe. it needs to be reviewed and changed if necessary.”
Lee, in follow up, stated “we are demanding the CPUC orders the inspection of every single tour bus, 100 percent”. Lee believes that the current protocols, only sampling a small percent of the commercial fleet are not working for an industry that is supposed to be serving millions of people. “I know that it’s not sufficient, given the number of buses on our streets that are operating in those capacities, that not 100 percent of buses are inspected. That’s not enough. We’re going to ask that they start immediately.”
And I agree with Lee completely. It’s amazing to me that over half of the tour buses can slip past inspections each year, without anyone to be held accountable. The only way we can be sure that all of our citizens and tourists in our city are safe is to ensure a 100 percent inspection rate, and we should demand that they carry far higher insurance limits, and that the companies that own the buses be real companies and not just shells.
Hello, I’m Claude Wyle, a San Francisco Northern California Bus Accident Attorney. Have an idea for a topic you’d like to see covered here? Feel free to contact me or visit www.ccwlawyers.com