As with so many tragedies, the bus accident that took place yesterday on the road Bogotá-Girardot and left 27 dead could have been avoided. The bus was 19 years old and passengers had actually complained about its seemingly unsafe conditions; the vehicle’s brakes failed and the driver “thought the best place to try to stop the bus was a plantation, but there was a hole 10 meters deep that he didn’t see,” General Francisco Patiño of the Roads Police explained.
The roads and signage in the area were all satisfactory, but authorities explained that in order to avoid tragedies like this one, vehicles need constant checks to make sure they are in good working condition. The driver of the bus, who survived the crash, had been involved in at least five accidents of some severity prior to this one and the transportation company he works for has eight pending investigations for irregularities in the services provided.
Pope Benedict XVI said he was “deeply saddened” by news of the tragedy and sent his condolences to the families who lost loved ones.
Authorities are concerned because the busiest travel times of the year are yet to come. So far 35 people have died in traffic accidents in December.