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Author Topic: Tour bus crash in Houston  (Read 7207 times)
kingfa39
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« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2008, 12:33:50 PM »

I dont think anybody said anything about this guy who has recked a bus 4 previous times, dont sound to me like he needs to ever be driving a bus. something wrong here
Frank Allen
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coachconverter
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« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2008, 07:02:50 PM »

Was on the phone today with Craig Hanloh when the Texas DPS stopped in to ask them about the bus, apparently they were running the VIN and asking if it had seatbelts when manufactured.  Craig, if I remember right, said it was a 1982 Model 10, stretched, widened, raised, you name it.  They are hoping to get it after the accident investigation is over, to analyze the damage and perhaps learn from it.

In my opinion, for the speed and type of barrier they hit, the bus did pretty well.  The guy might have been lucky his seatbelt was on, I haven't seen all the angles, but looks like that seat might have gotten crushed too. 

Craig said the police suspect the driver might have been asleep, it was early morning after driving for awhile and after a performance - which usually means an after-performance party too!  The driver is still out of it, they reduced his temperature to keep the swelling down in his brain, but were slowly raising it today.

Makes you wonder.  By my own tracking, most of these accidents happen in the wee hours of the morning.

Todd
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compedgemarine
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« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2008, 07:41:37 PM »

there was a time when I would drive all night to get wherever but finally got smart enough to just stop and sleep and then get going again after I am good and awake. mostly because I too noticed an awful lot of accidents early in the morning and have myself had a tough time concentrating. I decided that having someone mad because I was running late was better than killing myself or someone else. I agree that from the pics I thought the bus did fairly well considering the speed and impact. had a compact car hit that barrier at that speed you would have to find the VIN just to figure out what it was. still want to look and some way to add energy absorbtion to the front of my Eagle if only to make me feel better.
steve
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luvrbus
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« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2008, 07:53:22 PM »

I read in the Houston paper that Emilio was improving it's day to day now. There were 7 others on the bus one got 13 stitches in his head and all have gone home but 1, the paper stated than he had a full time driver till 6 mos ago Emilio was the only one that drove the bus after the driver left.When ask the band said Emilio always wore his seat belt and were surprised he didn't have it on. hope the guy makes it
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tekebird
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« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2008, 09:14:14 PM »

Todd,

I just happened to get a call from a buddy who used to be an insurance underwriter...and now is an attorney at one of the better know national insurance companies right after reading the stretched, raised widdened post.....so was fresh in my mind to ask.

His comments:

1. if it was disclosed that the Original structure was modified outside of it's original design, it would never be insured by anyone in todays environment.

2. If the insurance carrier finds out that it was modified, they will refuse to pay claims, and will likely win in court.......leaving the "insured" persons to sue whoever did the modifications.  Then it would all come down to expert witneses testimony as to the part the modifaction had in the damage during the accident


I didn;t have him for long so I could not pick his brain more on the matter as far as other modifications such as slideouts etc......and how the ins company would ever know if they were not told.

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luvrbus
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« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2008, 09:24:42 PM »

Tekebird, if that was true nobody would have insurance on the conversions I have seen modifications done to brand new Prevosts and MCIs.You need to post the name of the insurance co he works for so by accident someone won't buy from that insurance co
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tekebird
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« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2008, 09:47:02 PM »

he requested not to name him or his company....he is a lawyer afterall.

and we were talking about structural modifications......which most conversion do not have.

as for aftermarket installed slides..... got me.....but most of the companies that are doing new buses have plenty of insurance themsleves.   Both Prevost and MCi offer slides from the factory nowdays as well as raised roofs.   OEM

from our breif conversation.......they consider structural mods the same way they look at Totaled vehiles with salavage titles.......sure they can be made "good as new" from the outside......but you never know whats on the inside or how they are structurally.

I remember seeing a News show about "rebuilt totalled vehicles......particulalry unibody types.......and several fatal accidents which after investigation were deemed that they would not have been fatal if it was an unmolested car.  In this instance.....the people were sold cars that had titles that did not show the cars were ever wrecked.

Most guys are not ever going to even think about mentioning to thier ins company..hey I am going to cut it apart and weld some more metal in to make it bigger.  I would hazzard my buddy is right and every ins company known would say no thank you........or multiply your premium by a factor of (x)

And I would also expect in an accident like this....some sort of investigator outside of the TX highway patrol is going to be looking into it........especially if they had good insurance coverage. 

Look at the number of people who get turned down for ins by saying bus conversion.  I don;t have any issues calling it that with state farm.....but then again my original agent had some clout...and having had many in the family now over the years.....they don;t even bat an eye, other than when they ask new price on a Custom Coach MCI......and you say 500k or so......they bat an eye there.

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Gary LaBombard
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« Reply #37 on: March 27, 2008, 05:44:06 AM »

luvrbus,
 
I too would like the name of the Insurance CO. and the lawyer from Tekebird.  If this lawyer has this information then we should boost his business if we get into an accident while we are in our cars and we collide with a converted bus!  Sorry, I ain't buying all this. 

If the bus fell apart in the road and caused an accident then perhaps this would play into the scenario but this is not the case in this particular accident.  There cannot be but only "one" bus (as of today) out of our bus nut family that I know of that has not had some type of change to their originality when born.  We are considered bus conversions and all at risk per the information provided in this thread now. 

Being a converted bus has nothing to do with this particular accident as we are told by authorities at this moment.  Fatigue, possible Drinking but not confirmed, possibly run off by a 4 wheeler etc. could have been some of the reasons for this accident, but there was not one mention of a slide out, raised roof or anything else was considered being the reason for it.

I can't believe I even posted on this new information!  Another bad day!!

Gary
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Gary
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« Reply #38 on: March 27, 2008, 08:52:01 AM »

Well now!
Are we as converted bus owners pointing fingers which is something perhaps we all might be guilty of driving while sleepy?
I will be the first to say. Yes I have driven a vehicle when I was sleepy and by the grace of the good lord I made it home with out an incident.
As far as the Eagle coach that was involved in this accident if it was or unmodified the damage would have been the same after hitting the concrete median like this coach did.
I bet if it were to have been any other model coach a GMC,MCI or Prevost the damage would have been about the same degree.
Now! The great state of Texas DPS is running around with the vehicle VIN number asking the folks at the new Eagle facility if this bus came equipped with a factory seat belt for the driver.
Go figure law enforcement at it's best!
The accident with this Eagle coach is tragic and we all should learn a lesson don't drive while you are sleepy and make sure that you have your seat belt fastened after all the driver is the first one there in a accident.
jlv Tongue


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Dreamscape
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« Reply #39 on: March 27, 2008, 06:15:09 PM »

Proof is sometimes hard to get, especially from a lawyer. It doesn't sound right to me either. Buses aren't the only vehicles that have been modified from original specs. If so then most hot rods would not meet the criteria.

Paul
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NJT 5573
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« Reply #40 on: March 29, 2008, 04:15:22 PM »

I think this bus did a remarkable job of protecting its passengers. It was all tore to hell and easily could have killed everyone. My prayers are with Emilio, hope he lives to own another Eagle. Its hard to believe anyone survived. My bet is he fell asleep.

Sounds like he had enough experience..... I doubt an endorsement would have made any difference.....Stuff happens... A fresh driver could have made the difference, but truckers go through this everyday, the bone yards are full of wrecked trucks.
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Stan
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« Reply #41 on: March 29, 2008, 05:11:05 PM »

A good point about truck drivers. A few days ago there was an accident on IH10 west of Phoenix when one truck ran into the back of another truck. Ended up with multiple vehicles involved and two deaths.
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tekebird
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« Reply #42 on: March 29, 2008, 06:04:03 PM »

I am not saying that anything about this accident was caused by or damage incured a result of any modifications.

I am just passing on info......which is valid......whether any named insurance company would choose to investigate, or litigate or no pay a claim is subject to any number of circumstances.

In todays Legal and Insurance climate......there is a possibility of one or more of the above......

more likely if this was a converted coach that was being leased or chartered as then the DOT and other gov bodies would be involved.


I was just commenting on the post that the bus was heavily altered structually.


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Don in E Texas
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« Reply #43 on: March 29, 2008, 06:11:49 PM »

My 1976 MCI has seat belt anchors - and seat belt....
We have a Class 8 tractor (Freightliner from Schneider Fleet) that has been modified...one rear axle removed.  This is common among us that pull trailers.  No one has had any problems with insurance or with proper registration (mine reg as a motorhome in Texas).
I'd guess the fellow just fell asleep... too bad he did not retain his driver.  Drivers normally sleep during the show so they are ready to hit the road once the show is over.
My MC8 has Peninsula windows; that is a modification --  Roof air; vents; exhaust fans === all mod's.
Will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
I can't think of ANY MCI, Prevost, Eagle (or any other brand) that has not been modified to make it a motorhome.

don
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Don in E Texas
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tekebird
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« Reply #44 on: March 29, 2008, 06:25:05 PM »

now I only dd a 30 second seacch....and didn't come up with anything related directly to buses......

however...I beleive if you delve into vehicle codes of various states I think you will find that modified vehicles including street rods , kit cars etc must undergo a special inspection prior to titling/registration.  In my cursory search I found 3 states that require a special inspection of these vehicle in addition to the statrad state safety inspection.

Now to what extent this inspection is.....no idea......

Now CT.....for handicap vehicl mods, including larger doors, handicap controls, wheelchair lifts etc, requires work to be done by authorized contractors, and there was something in there about inspection by Automotive Engineer too...

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