San Francisco tour bus CEO refuses to answer questions on Union Square crash

Byby Melanie Woodrow via KGO logo
Thursday, November 19, 2015
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For the first time, ABC7 News caught up with City Sighseeing tour bus company's CEO, the company responsible for a massive Union Square crash, and he refused to answer questions.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Four people are still in the hospital after the Union Square tour bus accident.

For the first time, ABC7 News caught up with the tour bus company's CEO and he refused to answer questions.

Since Saturday, ABC7 News has left messages for City Sightseeing CEO Christian Watts, which did not return. Finally, on Wednesday ABC7 News approached him at a public meeting to discuss tour bus safety and asked him why the bus that crashed was not registered with the California Public Utility Commission. He said he had no comment.

PHOTOS: Several injuries reported after tour bus accident in SF

ABC7 News followed him into the Fisherman's Wharf public meeting and Watts ran out and when approached again he refused to comment. Hotel workers told ABC7 News to leave.

Bus driver Kenneth Malvar's attorney wants answers too. "If you saw the bus, it's miraculous that he survived," said Robert E. Cartwright of Cartwright Law Firm Inc.

Union Square Business Improvement District shared the latest surveillance video.

"It was just a runaway bus," Cartwright said.

Cartwright said a runaway bus started with "a boom and the bus just started to accelerate and the gas pedal seemed to not be stuck, it was just kind of loose."

With no brakes, Cartwright says Malvar tried to slow down some other way.

"Those plastic barriers, he hit those and he said that they blew away like paper," Cartwright said.

Then he hit parked cars. "Which did nothing," Cartwright said.

His last resort, the one that worked, the scaffolding. "I think he was quite a hero under the circumstances," Cartwright said.

His attorney suspects a multi-system failure but he's not ruling out one other thing. This bus wasn't always a double decker. "When you retrofit and add more seats, you're essentially adding weight and stress," he said.

SFPD, CHP and CPUC are investigating what happened.

Malvar's attorney is wondering how many other questionable buses are on the road.

"You know, we're all in danger," he said.