City bus crashes into Albuquerque auto shop

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – At the end of August, a city bus was driving west on Mountain Road. Sam Hebert was inside his auto shop when a city bus was hit – veered off the road – and crashed into his shop’s garage.

"I was on the opposite end of the shop and I heard the noises. Obviously the first crash and the second crash, I knew it was in the building or in the parking lot,” said Sam Herbert, owner of German Precision.

"There was the front of a bus in my building,” said Herbert.

The vehicle that caused the crash was an AFR fire truck.

Hebert said the fire truck was coming up Second Street when it T-boned a city bus coming down Mountain Road. The bus then veered off into a fence and put a hole in his shop wall – even damaging some of the vintage cars he was working on.

"Damaged the wall, damaged the whole wall down this way. Damaged one of the garage doors,” he said.

Herbert said he’s grateful nobody was hurt – and grateful AFR helped him patch up the hole in his building.

"Well, the next problem is the city doesn’t carry insurance. So, they are self-insured. So, that means is, pretty much, as a business owner, that I have to pay for everything out of pocket, or run it against my own insurance."

"To me, it was a clear incident of liability,” said Jeanette Chavez, CABQ risk manager.

Chavez said the city operates like an in-house insurance company. She went to the crash site after it happened – and said there is still is an open claim, but things don’t happen quickly.

"It takes time to get contractors in-place, sometimes contractors aren’t able to get in there right away and that might take longer,” she said.

"Well it’s kind of frustrating. Because if the shoe was on the other foot. I know they would expect me to have insurance. And they would expect my insurance to pay quickly for whatever damage I did, if I was responsible,” Herbert said.

In the meantime, Hebert waits on the building’s insurance to coordinate with the city. He expects the cost of insurance premiums to increase.

"To me, it doesn’t seem like it’s all that fair. But, I guess that’s just kinda the way that it works,” said Herbert.