MERCED COUNTY, California (August 2, 2016) ––Fernando Acosta-Ramirez and Petra Carrillo, were identified as two of four people killed early Tuesday morning in a tour bus crash on Highway 99 when the bus crashed straight through the Hammatt Avenue sign pole, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The fatal crash took place about 3:21 a.m. this morning. The pole sliced through about three-quarters of the bus from its windshield right through the middle. Four people died of injuries at the scene, but at least four others were trapped and possibly critically injured.
Fernando Acosta-Ramirez and Petra Carrillo, who lived in Nayarit, Mexico, both died of injuries in the crash, but their 12-year-old niece Jennifer Rivera survived the collision.
UPDATE: Jose Morales Bravo of Avalon, Catalina Island also died in the crash. His wife was seriously injured and hospitalized, but is expected to recover.
The final victim who died in the crash was described as a Mexican man in his late 30s. The coroner’s office is attempting to reach family members through the Mexican consulate.
More than a dozen others suffered injuries in the crash including six who suffered major injuries. The most critically injured people were airlifted to hospitals in the Modesto and Turlock communities. Some of the victims were taken to Mercy hospital in Merced.
Most of those aboard the tour bus were of Mexican decent and some were children, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Dozens of firefighters were on the scene extricating passengers who were trapped on the bus and multiple ambulances were there to rush them to local hospitals.
The bus driver was described as a 57-year-old man from Los Angeles named Mario David Vasquez. Also, DMV records show the 1998 bus was registered to Autobuses Coordinados USA Inc., a company with dozens of violations at safety inspections over the past two years, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Roughly 30 people were aboard the tour bus that was traveling to Sacramento. The bus began its tour in Mexico and was eventually heading to Washington state, according to ABC News. The bus operates out of an East Los Angeles company.
The crash remains under investigation by police.
California Tour Bus Accidents — Call for Help at 800-235-6801
The National Transportation Safety Board will typically head up an investigation into what led to this collision. There are human factors such as distraction, sleepiness and drugs or alcohol that will be considered, but also the safety board will inspect the company’s safety records and mechanical functions to determine if these were factors.
“This can be a lengthy process and it can compound the stress and financial strain on family members of those who were injured or killed in a bus collision,” advises James Johnson, an attorney who has handled cases for clients involved in bus crashes.
Those of us at Johnson Attorneys Group offer our sincere condolences to the families who have lost a loved one in this tragedy. We also extend our prayers to those who were injured in hopes of a full recovery.
If you were injured or have lost a loved one in a tour bus crash, it’s important that you take immediate steps to protect your legal rights. The bus company and insurance companies will try to negotiate a quick settlement because it’s in their best interest to do so, but injuries do not always heal completely and the loss of a loved one has both emotional and financial consequences to a family.
Johnson Attorneys Group handles personal injury and wrongful death claims and can be reached at 800-235-6801.
Call us to request a free consultation and be assured that there are no fees unless a settlement is obtained for you.
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