USA Holiday Bus Accident Driver Safety Record
Although the investigation into Sunday’s horrific tour bus accident
near Palm Springs is only in its earliest stages, the early available
suggests that the owner and sole employee of Alhambra-based USA Holiday
had a long history of traffic offenses and troubles with state regulators.
The California Highway Patrol gave USA Holiday “Unsatisfactory”
ratings following inspection of its terminal facility in 2005, 2007, 2008,
and 2010 and the company appears to have failed to meet state requirements
regarding mandatory drug and alcohol testing of its drivers in 2005 and
2010. The company’s owner and only driver, Teodulo Elias Vides,
had a bus driver record that would have disqualified him from driving
for any other tour bus company:
- A May, 2011 citation on the East 10 Freeway near Palm Springs for speeding
and driving on a suspended license. Although he failed to appear to answer
the charges, they were later dismissed when he presented a valid license
to the court.
- Two 2011 citations in Santa Barbara County for “lane straddling.”
- A September, 2005 citation in Riverside County. He was reported to be driving
another bus when he was stopped for driving over 70 miles per hour on
the 10 Freeway near Cabazon. Although ordered to attend traffic school,
records indicate that he did not comply with the order and his bail was
In addition his to traffic tickets, Vides had also received a citation
from the state Public Utilities Commission for operating USA Holiday with
an expired permit.
USA Holiday's Legal Trouble
In spite of his driving record, Vides appears to have continued driving
without restrictions. However, Vides’ driving record appears to
have been overshadowed by USA Holiday’s other legal troubles.
According to court records Vides or his company, USA Holiday, have been
sued at least twice since 2003:
- A June, 2003 collision on the 60 Freeway in Riverside that injured two
people. The case was settled on undisclosed terms in 2006.
- A May, 2007 collision on the 215 Freeway, also in Riverside, that killed
three people. Court records indicate the case was dismissed after the
plaintiffs failed to meet a court deadline.
In both cases the driver of the USA Holiday employee at the wheel was identified
as Paulino Camacho Ceballos.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is responsible for
investigating accidents involving interstate “for hire” transportation,
is assisting the California Highway Patrol and the state Public Utilities
Commission with their investigations into the USA Holiday tour bus accident
that killed 12 mostly elderly passengers and Vides, who was the driver.
Although the investigation is in its early stages, a preliminary reconstruction
of the accident indicates that around 5:00AM the USA Holiday tour bus
was traveling east on the 10 Freeway at a speed very close to, or above,
the posted speed limit. The weather in the immediate area of the accident
was clear, with no indication that visibility was reduced by fog, smoke,
or terrain. On a flat stretch of road Vides, the driver, crashed into
the rear of a tractor-trailer rig that was also traveling east but at
a much slower speed than the bus. There were no skid marks observed at
the scene of the crash, an indication that Vides did not apply his brakes
before the bus crashed into the rear of the truck. Extensive damage to
the front of the bus and the trailer component of the tractor trailer
rig strongly suggest that the tour bus was traveling much faster than
the truck. Investigators for both the Highway Patrol and the NTSB have
indicated that the driver of the truck was not at fault in the accident
and will not be charged.
Based on the facts discussed above, the USA Holiday tour bus accident attorney
at the Doan Law Firm believes that the bus driver record of Teodulo Elias
Vides proves that he had a long history of traffic violations that he
ignored and that his company, USA Holiday, was repeatedly cited for safety
violations. These facts are strongly suggestive that Vides routinely placed
his passengers in danger of injury or death and that, based on the impressions
of accident investigators, he was directly responsible for the accident
that killed 12 people and injured dozens more.
The bus accident lawyer of the Doan Law Firm would like to remind the victims
of the USA Holiday bus accident that the law clearly states that those
who have been injured due to the negligent actions of another have a legal
right to be compensated for their injuries. Those passengers that were
injured in this accident, as well as the families of those that died,
can contact the USA Holiday tour bus accident lawyer at the Doan Law firm
of Los Angeles by calling (424) 334-000 to arrange a free consultation
regarding the USA Holiday tour bus accident.
The Doan Law Firm
12100 Wilshire Boulevard, 8th Floor
Los Angeles, California 90025