3 Women Killed in Bus Crash on I-15 Freeway; 18 Injured Near Fallbrook
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Feb. 24, 2020) — Two of the three women who died in a rollover charter bus crash on the Interstate 15 Freeway near Fallbrook are identified as Maria De La Luz Diaz, 67 of Riverside, and Julia Perez Cornejo, 73 of Pasadena.
UPDATE: Cinthya Karely Rodriguez Banda, 23, of Mexico, has been identified as the third woman who died in the collision, according to the San Diego Medical Examiner.
All three women were pronounced dead at the scene, according to information from the California Highway Patrol.
The victims were were among 21 passengers aboard a charter bus that crashed Saturday morning (Feb. 22nd) while on route to Tijuana from El Monte, California.
Eighteen others aboard the bus were hospitalized with a range of injuries.
The driver reportedly lost control on rain-slicked roads on the southbound side of the I-15, just south of state Route 76 in Pala Mesa and north of Escondido, police said. Police say the driver was heading up a steep road when he lost control and the bus swerved to the right and overturned multiple times.
The passengers were picked up by the bus in multiple cities including El Monte, Baldwin Park, Pomona and Riverside.
Paramedics transported 18 people to hospitals ranging in age from 5 years old to 75 years old. Five of them went to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, five others were taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar and the final eight people were taken to Temecula Valley Hospital.
A 5-year-old boy was among the eleven critically injured passengers. On Sunday, the boy was taken from Inland Valley Medical Center where he was treated for a severe head wound, but then he was airlifted to Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley. t
Although the bus was equipped with seat belts, most of the injured passengers were ejected and few were actually wearing them.
The 52-year-old Whittier man who was driving the bus was questioned by police at a station where he voluntarily gave a blood sample.
He fully cooperated with investigators and they do not suspect drugs or alcohol were factors. Meanwhile, the crumpled bus was towed away as evidence and will be inspected to determine if there were any mechanical problems.
The bus company has no record of collisions and it passed all inspections over the past two years, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation website.
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