Colusa Bus Crash Highlights Dangers of Negligent Hiring
October 8, 2008
When it comes to safety, shortcuts can be detrimental. The family and friends of those killed in the Colusa bus crash on Sunday know this to be true. The driver of the bus, Quinton J. Watts, was found to be driving under the influence. It has also been discovered that Watts had an extensive record involving criminal activity and multiple moving violations. On top of that, he had no experience driving a bus. Eight passengers were killed and at least 35 were injured in that fateful crash. In this case, one background check could have saved eight lives, including that of the bus company’s owner, Daniel Cobb.
So next time you are evaluating your screening process (Is the money we are spending worth it? Is this something we really need to be doing?), think about this story. I think the answer is evident.
David Rosenthal, Injuryboard.com – October 7, 2008
Daniel Cobb, the owner of the private bus that crashed Sunday was obviously desparate for a driver since he placed an online classified ad for the position on 10/2/08. He apparently was willing to forego a background check or to simply ignore Watts’ checkered past because he was Cobb’s stepson. It was a costly decision not only for the passengers and their families, but for Cobb himself, who died as a result of the collision. Cobb’s poor choice of a driver had diproportionately tragic consequences for families in Sacramento’s Lao and Hmong communities, whose parents and grandparents were his regular customers.
Many responsible common carriers have minimum training requirements and conduct stringent background checks. However, far too often we see the tragic consequences of employers who take short cuts in hiring the people who are entrusted with the safe transportation of our loved ones. Make sure that the common carrier you hire is not gambling on safety.
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