At the Los Angeles Times, "'Catastrophic' charter bus crash leaves five dead, L.A. driver seriously injured":
At least five people were killed and numerous people seriously injured early Tuesday when a violent crash tore a charter bus down the middle on Highway 99 in Merced County, the California Highway Patrol said.Keep reading.
The northbound bus struck the support pole for a sign marking the Hammatt Avenue exit near the town of Livingston, CHP Officer Moises Onsurez told The Times. The crash occurred about 3:35 a.m., authorities said.
The pole split the white bus down the middle, tearing through it as it kept moving forward after impact, Onsurez said. Video images from the Merced Sun-Star showed firefighters climbing through windows in the early morning darkness, and a road lined with ambulances.
“This collision is a catastrophic event,” Onsurez said.
About 30 passengers were aboard the vehicle, and some suffered major injuries, Onsurez said. About five injured people were flown to hospitals, officials said. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Northbound Highway 99 was closed in the area throughout the day.
Authorities have identified the bus driver as 57-year-old Mario David Vasquez from Los Angeles, Onsurez said. Vasquez “sustained major injuries” and was hospitalized Tuesday morning, he said.
The bus originated in Mexico and had stopped in Los Angeles on Monday night, Onsurez said. It made a stop in Livingston and was headed to Pasco, Wash., Onsurez said...