Protecting Passengers

By Paul Krueger and Michelle Wayland
|  Tuesday, Feb 22, 2011  |  Updated 1:48 PM PDT
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Stingaree Crash Victim "Can Overcome Anything": Friend

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Local Cab Drivers to Carry More Insurance

It will take effect too late to help those hurt in last weekend's cab crash
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Starting Tuesday, taxicab owners will carry more insurance to protect passengers in many parts of San Diego County.

The added coverage is taking effect too late to help those injured in a devastating accident in the Gaslamp District.

Most taxis are regulated by the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), which actually approved increased insurance coverage last year.

At least 35 people claim they were injured when a taxi hit them outside Stingaree. Dominique Gambale was the most badly hurt. Her leg was mangled when the taxi pinned her against a wall.

Gambale's lawyer says his client's medical bills alone will far exceed the $300,000 insurance policy that covers the taxi.

New rules require all MTS licensed taxis to have a $1 million policy.

"$1 million I think is practical, and yes, it will have to be absorbed by the taxi business, but I think it's in the public interest to have that limit," said MTS Board Member Ron Roberts.

Roberts says the transit board may also discuss limiting the number of hours a taxi driver can be behind the wheel. But police say there's no evidence so far that the taxi driver in Saturday's crash had worked more than eight or ten hours.

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