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What Caused the West Portal Station Crash?

The West Portal bus stop crash was one of the worst auto accidents San Francisco has ever seen. Authorities are still trying to piece together exactly what happened – and what might have caused the crash. While many of these factors are clear, numerous questions remain unanswered. What we know for sure is that a young couple and their children are gone. For relatives who lose their loved ones in these kinds of crashes, it is often very important to understand the root cause. Not only does this provide a sense of closure for those struggling with grief, but it may also provide a pathway to justice. Once you understand the root cause of an accident, you may have the opportunity to hold negligent parties accountable. What exactly caused the West Portal Station crash?

Elderly Driver Arrested in Connection with Horrific San Francisco Bus Stop Crash

What Caused the West Portal Station Crash
In March of 2024, CBS News reported that police arrested an elderly driver in connection with a fatal bus stop crash. The 78-year-old was driving her SUV when she smashed into a bus stop at about 60 miles per hour. A young couple was waiting at the bus stop with their three-month-old infant and two-year-old toddler. The family was reportedly on their way to the zoo. The impact threw the family into the air, and the father reportedly landed 80 feet away from the bus stop. The two-year-old child landed 60 feet away from the crash, and the three-month-old baby was also thrown out of the stroller. 

According to first responders, the father and two-year-old child died at the scene. The mother initially survived but succumbed to her injuries within 24 hours. The three-month-old baby survived the longest, receiving emergency treatment for days before ultimately dying in hospital. After the last victim passed away, the surviving family members announced that the three-month-old had become an organ donor. 

Images from the crash depict a scene of total devastation. The SUV seems to have completely destroyed the bus shelter – leaving nothing behind but scattered scrap metal and wreckage. Police and witnesses later confirmed that the vehicle was traveling the wrong way at the time of impact. In addition, forensic analysis confirms that there were no skid marks at the scene, suggesting that the driver failed to engage her brakes throughout the entire incident. 

After the incident, the driver was arrested on multiple charges – including reckless driving causing bodily injury, vehicular manslaughter, driving on the wrong side of the road, and speeding. Police confirmed that they had “probable cause” to make the arrest, warning everyone to be patient as they continue their investigation into this incident. These criminal charges suggest that the accident was caused by human error and gross negligence. 

What Was the Root Cause of the Accident?   

In the aftermath of the accident, various sources reported that the SUV driver may have suffered a “medical emergency” in the moments before the crash. This could make sense, especially given the driver’s age. The risk of heart attacks, strokes, and similar medical emergencies is higher among the elderly population, and these issues may arise without warning. In addition, the absence of skid marks suggests that the driver may have been unconscious throughout the entire event. Even an intoxicated or distracted individual would supposedly slam on the brakes at some point, while a completely incapacitated person would be incapable of doing so. On the other, a “medical emergency” represents an extremely common defense strategy for negligent drivers attempting to escape legal consequences. 

Some have suggested that the street’s design may have been to blame, but it is not clear where these complaints come from. However, this may imply a common perception among residents that this street is especially dangerous. In response, San Francisco police say that “traffic engineering” was not a factor

Find a Qualified Bus Accident Lawyer in San Francisco

If you have been searching for a qualified bus accident lawyer in San Francisco, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. With our help, you can determine the root cause of your bus accident in the Bay Area. Plaintiffs often struggle with hazy memories, head injuries, and psychological trauma after crashes. A legal professional can step in and investigate your accident while you focus on the healing process. If there is any sign of negligence, an injury lawyer can help you pursue justice and compensation for your various damages. Reach out today to book a consultation

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