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Oceano tour company talks safety in wake of deadly bus crash

A deadly Tour bus accident yesterday in Palm Springs killed 13 people and injured several others. It’s being called one of the deadliest tour bus accidents in California history. It’s believed that none of the 40 passengers on that tour bus were wearing their seatbelts.

Earlier today we spoke with a Humvee tour company owner who actually happened to be in Palm Springs yesterday and drove right past that accident.

Larry Haas is the owner of Pacific Adventure Tours. He gives tours on his four Humvees on the dunes of Oceano. It’s what Larry calls, looking out of his “office window.” But – with this great view, as a tour company owner, comes some great responsibility, he says.

Sunday morning Larry was driving back from a weekend in Palm Springs and witnessed the aftermath of what’s being called the worst tour bus accident in California history after that tour bus slammed into the back of a semi truck, killing 13 people.

“Kind of looked like an explosion, you could see the pieces on the freeway, it was almost hard to make out what the vehicle actually was,” Haas said.

In an exclusive interview, Haas talked about what he saw and what he does to keep his riders safe on his tours. He says someone getting hurt is the biggest fear of a tour company owner – that’s why he inspects his four Humvees daily, has a million dollars worth of liability insurance, has the highest safety rating there on the dunes and a year long training course for his drivers.

“As an operator of a tour business, we worry about that all the time, because we have the responsibility of taking care of the people riding in our equipment,” Haas said.

It’s believed that none of the 40-plus passengers on that tour bus were wearing seatbelts – something Haas says you always want to do, no matter what vehicle you’re in.

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