Fernando Ramirez, 57, Petra Carrillo Ruiz, 64, Jose Morales Bravo, 68, Jaime De Los Santos, 38, dead after charter bus crashes into sign on Highway 99 between Atwater and Livingston, California
Five people were confirmed dead, authorities said, and six others were flown to area hospitals. Other people who were injured were treated at the scene by paramedics.
The unmarked white bus carrying about 30 people hit the pole of a highway exit sign, and emergency workers climbed in through the windows to pull passengers out.
“The pole went through the center of the bus, and that’s where the injuries were sustained,” California Highway Patrol Officer Moi Onsurez told The Associated Press.
A man who survived a pre-dawn bus wreck on a California highway says he was awakened from his sleep when he was thrown into the seat in front of him and then to the floor.
The driver of the bus was identified as Mario David Vasquez, 57 of the Los Angeles area, according to Moises Onsurez, public information officer for the CHP. Vasquez was among the people who sustained major injuries and was airlifted to a hospital.
"He was trying to pass another vehicle and they wouldn't let him. So it swerved him off the road and that's when he hit a pole and it went through the middle of the bus," said Manuel's mother and survivor, Nakia Coliman.
There were no crashes in the Fresno-based bus company’s record, but in the past two years we’ve found Autobuses Coordinados USA had more than 50 violations tied to its drivers and buses.
In nearly one-third of those inspections, the feds ordered vehicles out of service.
The dead include a married couple from Mexico who were traveling to visit a daughter in Pasco, Washington, and a man from Avalon, California, whose spouse was hospitalized, Warnke said.
A fourth victim was only identified as a man in his late 30s whose family was being sought through a Mexican consulate.
The identities were released as investigators started piecing together what led to the crash early Tuesday. Among the possible factors being examined are driver fatigue and mechanical problems.
CBS13 then confirmed with the Oregon DMV that either the officer or the courts there, made a clerical error and did not note he was driving a commercial vehicle.