Report: Driver fatigue may have led to California bus crash that killed one, injured 30

REDDING, Calif. – The driver of a tour bus that overturned in California, killing one man and injuring at least 30 other passengers, might have been fatigued, authorities said Monday.

A California Highway Patrol investigation of the Sunday crash was continuing, but authorities said the bus had a minor crash at a restaurant earlier in the day, suggesting the driver may have been tired, the Los Angeles Times reported ( ).

“Most people are aware of the dangers of drinking and driving but don’t realize that driving while fatigued can be just as fatal,” the CHP said in a statement.

Bus driver Jose Victor Garcilazo Palencia, 67, of Los Angeles was taken to a hospital and released. Attempts by The Associated Press to reach him were unsuccessful.

The bus was en route from Los Angeles to Pasco, Washington, when it drifted off the right shoulder of Interstate 5 about 100 miles south of the Oregon border. It went down an embankment and overturned, coming to rest on its roof.

Passenger Francisco Corona told KOVR-TV in Sacramento ( ) that he felt blessed and lucky to be alive.

“I felt like I was in a roller coaster,” he said. “A lot of us were crushed between the seats.”

A 33-year-old man was killed and some of the passengers were seriously injured. A spokeswoman at Mercy Medical Center Mount Shasta said one person was stable and another was in critical but stable condition.

Two other people were in serious condition at Mercy Medical Center Redding.

The same bus struck a restaurant overhang in Red Bluff earlier in the day, about 50 miles south. No one was hurt, and the property damage was minor, Red Bluff police Sgt. Matt Hansen said.

Authorities have not released information on the purpose of the bus trip.

Investigators did not say whether drugs or alcohol may have been involved or whether any citations or charges would be forthcoming.

The man who died was from the Fresno-area city of Parlier, but his name was not released pending notification of his family.

Federal records show the bus operator, Yellow Arrow LLC, is based in Othello, Washington, had no reported crashes in the past two years. A company representative was not available for comment early Monday.