A party bus struck and seriously injured a pedestrian in Norwalk on Saturday, then fled the scene of the accident.
The accident happened about 2:31 a.m. The victim, 26-year-old Efren Virgen, Jr., a Norwalk resident, was walking on Fairford Ave., just south of Ratliffe St. A party bus traveling southbound on Fairford struck Virgen, then dragged him over 200 feet, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The party bus never stopped. It was last seen turning westbound on Foster Rd.
A witness described the bus as a black party bus. When the bus drove past the witness, the witness saw interior neon lights in the party bus were flashing and he heard music playing.
Virgen was transported to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood and is on life support. He suffered a torn pelvis and is in a medically-induced coma. At the time of the accident, he was walking home from a local bar, about two blocks from his home. Virgen is the father of two daughters (ages 3 and 8), and is employed by the City of Long Beach as a refuse collector.
Officials are hoping more witnesses or passengers on the party bus will come forward with more information.
Party buses are typically rented to transport passengers to bachelor and bachelorette parties, proms and after-prom parties, birthday parties, Sweet 16s, concerts and ballparks. Party buses are usually hired in connection with a festive occasion that often involves heavy alcohol consumption. The party bus is often rented so that there is an alcohol-free designated driver, allowing the passengers to consume alcohol freely. The perceived freedom from responsibility is where the danger arises. Akin to a “booze cruise,” reckless behavior can arise on party buses.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury or death as the result of a hit and run accident or an accident involving a party bus, the Long Beach personal injury attorneys at McGee, Lerer & Associates are available 24/7 for a free consultation. Visit our website to learn more about hit and run accidents and party bus accidents.