What are in theory a safer means to partying were the sites of two unrelated potentially fatal incidents in Hollywood on Saturday night that left 5 people hospitalized. The night's pedestrian collision and subsequent shooting in front of a nightclub, both involving party buses, kept LAPD units especially busy in Hollywood into the early morning hours. [Photo via]
Saturday night was a terrible night for party buses in Hollywood with one severe collision with a pedestrian and later a shooting on the sidewalk in front of a bus. We're pretty sure we saw the same party bus that was involved in a gruesome pedestrian collision parked on Hollywood Blvd Saturday night. A group rented the bus for a night of bar/club hopping around Hollywood when its rear wheel ran over a passenger chasing behind trying to catch up to reboard as it drove away on McCadden Place. The victim who became trapped in the bus' tire well survived but is in critical condition. [Photo via]
Hours later, less than a mile away a shooting claiming four victims took place in front of Wonderland nightclub on Cahuenga at 3am as patrons were exiting around closing time. Conflicting witness accounts make it difficult to determine exactly what happened; it was originally believed that the bullets were fired from the window of a parked party bus into the crowd outside the club but now it seems that they were fired from the sidewalk following a fight between bus passengers. The new story holds that patrons on the sidewalk boarded the bus to take cover and avoid the gunfire. Two men and and two women were struck by bullets but survived and are all in stable condition. Meanwhile the suspect, said to be a thin black male in his early 20s wearing a blue and white shirt, fled the scene in a blue Chevy El Camino and remains at large. [Wonderland photo via]
Although party buses are a way to cruise Hollywood nightspots with a group safely without anyone having to get behind the wheel, authorities believe they contribute to unfortunate incidents like Saturday's, because they afford more opportunity to get drunk and irresponsible behavior. Because buses enable passengers to get wasted on board, passengers start drinking the minute they hop on and are already three sheets to the wind before the bus even reaches the night's destinations for more drinking.
Party buses have caused problems in the past and been the focus of two previous rounds of imposing harsher restrictions that proved successful. The consequences for the party bus industry have yet to be seen but we expect to see some aggressive crackdown in light of Saturday night's events.