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Nov 23, 2014 10:41 PM

1 killed, dozens injured in California bus crash

The Associated Press

REDDING, Calif. (AP) A tour bus ran off a Northern California freeway and overturned Sunday morning, killing one person and injuring 30 six of them seriously, authorities said.

The bus traveling from Los Angeles to Pasco, Washington, drifted off Interstate 5 at about 7:30 a.m. about 100 miles south of the Oregon border, California Highway Patrol Officer Jeff Borgen said. The bus rolled over and came to rest upside-down on a frontage road.

Earlier in the same trip and about 50 miles to the south, the bus had struck a Denny's restaurant in Red Bluff, Borgen said. No one was injured in that crash.

A 33-year-old man from Parlier was killed, the CHP said. His name has not been released because relatives had not been notified.

Two dozen others from the bus were taken to hospitals. Most had minor injuries and were treated and released.

Three patients were in critical condition, including one who was flown by helicopter to Mercy Medical Center in Mount Shasta with severe head injuries, hospital spokeswoman Joyce Zwanziger told the Sacramento Bee.

Three people were in serious condition at the same hospital's Redding location, where most of the patients were taken, spokeswoman Heather Nichols said.

"We drill for this kind of thing," Nichols told the Redding Record-Searchlight.

The bus, a 1996 Vanhool, was driven by Jose Victor Garcilazo, 67, of Los Angeles.

Investigators said evidence at both crash sites show that driver fatigue may have been a factor. They did not say whether drugs or alcohol may have been involved or whether any citations or charges were planned.

It wasn't clear how much damage was done in the initial crash or why the bus continued on its trip. Red Bluff police, who investigated the first crash, had no additional information on it Sunday night.

The bus operator, Yellow Arrow LLC, is based in Othello, Washington. It has a current license and before Sunday had no reported accidents in the past two years, according to federal records.

No one answered several calls from The Associated Press to a telephone number for the company that was listed in the records.

The hospital was working with the Salvation Army and the Red Cross to assist patients who had been released, many of whom were staying at a hospitality house run by the medical center.

"We're just keeping them safe and comfortable," Nichols said.

The crash was on the same freeway about 90 miles away from the spot where in April another charter bus from Southern California collided with a FedEx tractor-trailer, killing 10 people. That bus was carrying high school students on a visit to Humboldt State University.


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