Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Several people were injured in a Greyhound bus crash after the driver sufferred a medical issue while was eating in Tulare County, CA

OCTOBER 19, 2016

A Greyhound bus ran off Highway 99 in Tulare County on Wednesday, but it remained upright, and about half the passengers had minor injuries, authorities said.

About 8:25 a.m. the bus carrying about 30 passengers veered off the southbound lanes of Highway 99 near Traver and drove across a frontage road and into a field.

Passengers receive minor injuries after the bus veers off the roadway and runs into a field before coming to a stop.

Fourteen people, including the driver, suffered injuries and were taken to area hospitals for treatment.

The crash site was between Traver and Avenue 328, near Cross Creek.

Why the bus went off the road is under investigation, but alcohol or drug use was not considered a factor, California Highway Patrol officer Steve Beal said.

The bus drove through two fences and clipped a cotton transport bin on which a “Trump for President” sign was attached.

The bus left Sacramento about 3:30 a.m. and was bound for Los Angeles. Passengers told reporters they were sleeping when the bus left the roadway.

“Everybody was screaming,” said passenger Donny Van Why of Huntington Beach.

Victoria Casillas, another passenger, said she “remembered waking up, and everybody is, like, flying all over the place.”

Passenger Bamm Byas of Los Angeles said running off the highway “felt like a roller-coaster ride, but bumpier and scarier.”

He said it appeared to him that the bus driver was eating, then collapsed, before driving off the highway. “He started getting dizzy, and the whole bus went from one lane to the other lane and ended up off the road.”

The injured passengers were taken to hospitals in Visalia, Tulare and Hanford.

Another Greyhound bus was dispatched to the scene to pick up the uninjured passengers and transport them to Los Angeles.

========== Greyhound bus crashes on Highway 99 in Traver

In Tulare County several people were injured in a Greyhound bus crash. The bus veered off southbound Highway 99 near Traver Wednesday morning. (KFSN)

By Joe Ybarra
Wednesday, October 19, 2016 04:23PM
TRAVER, Calif. (KFSN) -- In Tulare County several people were injured in a Greyhound bus crash. The bus veered off southbound Highway 99 near Traver Wednesday morning. The bus smashed through fences and clipped a cotton bin before coming to a rest in a field.

There were 30 to 35 passengers on the bus and, according to the CHP, 14 people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Mario Flores said he was asleep inside this Greyhound bus when it drifted off of Highway 99.

"I basically woke up mid-air, and I was like, 'what's going on?'"

At that point Flores said he grabbed a rail and held on tight through the chaos.

"Everybody was flying around, saw a couple people out of their seats in the middle of the aisle and everything."

Two barbed wire fences, a small hill, and a big cotton bin weren't enough to stop the bus. It pushed through and ended up in a field on the side of a frontage road near Traver, just north of Avenue 328.

Victoria Casillas said the initial impact also woke her up and a seatbelt saved her life.

"I'm kinda glad I put my seatbelt on today, I never put my seatbelt on. It kind of saved me from moving all over the place."

Casillas escaped with back pain while others were taken to hospitals in Tulare, Visalia, and Hanford. CHP officer Steve Beal said the injuries were all minor cuts and bruises and the bus driver took the hardest hits.

"He had the most visible injuries-- he had a couple lacerations, maybe an abrasion on the back of his head. But he was coherent, walking, talking, very cooperative."

Officer Beal said there were no signs of drugs or alcohol. He said, the bus was on a journey from Oregon to Los Angeles and it made a stop in Sacramento, Wednesday morning. The drivers were switched out and roughly five hours into this leg of the ride is when it crashed.

Passengers said the driver was eating and had some kind of medical issue.

"People in the front knew what happened, they said the bus driver coughed and passed out," sid Louisa Moritz, passenger.

Those who were able to walk away were stranded for a few hours. Greyhound sent a second bus to the scene to pick them up.

Looking back on the crash, Flores said he's surprised this many people were able to walk away.

"it's really bad, it's really bad-- we're lucky to be alive actually."

From here CHP will continue to investigate the crash. In the meantime, we are told the bus will be taken to Los Angeles for an inspection.