At least five people were killed early Tuesday when a bus swerved and crashed into a sign pole in Merced County, local media reported.
The California Highway Patrol said the white charter bus carrying 30 people was heading north on Highway 99 near Livingston in Merced County when the accident occurred around 3:25 a.m. local time, Fresno TV station KMPH and NBC affiliate KSEE reported.
California Highway Patrol Officer Moises Onsurez told KSEE that the sign pole sheared through the center of the vehicle.
The bus started its journey in Mexico, stopped in Los Angeles on Monday night and was on its way to the Sacramento area Tuesday, Sacramento TV station, KKHTK reported. Its eventual destination was Washington state, California Highway Patrol said. Five injured passengers were airlifted to local hospitals while emergency personnel worked to free others trapped in the wreckage, KKHTK reported.
“This is a tragedy and this will take a substantial amount of time to investigate and to clear,” Onsurez said.
The driver of the bus was identified by police as Mario David Vasquez, 57, of the Los Angeles area, according to the Merced Sun Star. He suffered major injuries in the crash. The bus is registered to Autobuses Coordinados Usa Inc.
Several survivors of the crash declined to speak with reporters at the scene of the accident, the paper said. Many of them spoke only Spanish.
It is too early to determine what the cause of the accident was, or whether or not the driver had tried to maneuver away from the pole. The investigation is currently ongoing and will likely answer these and other questions about the accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident, call our personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation. We accept bus accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there will be no cost to you, unless we recover compensation on your behalf. Our bus accident attorneys will aggressively fight for you until justice is served, whether it is through a settlement or a trial. Our dedicated and caring team of accident attorneys will be available to you 24/7. Call us at 1-800-385-4838.
News Source via USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/08/02/least-5-dead-california-tour-bus-crash/87947222/