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Bus Crash on Hwy 101 in California Not the Result of Drugs or Alcohol

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By    |   Wednesday, 20 Jan 2016 03:13 PM

A bus crash on Hwy 101 in Northern California Tuesday was not the result of drug or alcohol use by the driver, authorities said Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.

Investigators are now looking into other causes of the crash that killed two in San Jose, including driver fatigue, California Highway Patrol Officer Christopher Miceli said.

The 58-year-old Greyhound driver, who was briefly hospitalized, told investigators that he was fatigued and stopped for coffee about 30 miles before the bus plowed into safety barrels on rain-slickened U.S. 101 and flipped on its side onto a center divider, Miceli said.

The force ejected Fely Olivera, 51, of San Francisco, and Maria De Jesus Ortiz Velasquez, 76, of Salinas, who both died at the scene, officials said. At least seven passengers were sent to area hospitals, with major to minor injuries, the CHP said. All are expected to survive.

Six Greyhound bus accidents have killed seven people over the past two years before Tuesday's wreck, according to federal transportation officials.

U.S. Department of Transportation data also show that the agency inspected 1,882 Greyhound vehicles and 3,065 drivers over the same period, DOT spokesman Troy Green said.

In the most recent case, the bus carrying 20 passengers left Los Angeles at 11:30 p.m. Monday with stops planned in Gilroy — where the driver got coffee — San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland, said Lanesha Gipson, a Greyhound spokeswoman.

The driver began his shift in Los Angeles, and the company requires operators to rest nine hours between trips, Gipson said. He has a clean driving record over the past three years and no history of drunken driving over the past 10 years, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

One of the two women killed had recently moved to the U.S. from the Philippines to be close to her children, her son said.

Antonio Olivera said his mother, Fely Olivera, was traveling home to San Francisco from Los Angeles, where she had visited her other two sons.

"I was hoping my mother was one of the passengers that got injured, so I called hospitals in San Jose and I called emergency rooms, but they said my mom was not on their lists," he said.

Antonio Olivera, 25, said his mother was a stay-at-home mom who loved to take care of her family and had immigrated to California in September.

"I thought she would die from getting sick and not from being ejected from a bus," he said. "I haven't seen her body. I'm still hoping it's a different person."

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A bus crash on Hwy 101 in Northern California Tuesday was not the result of drug or alcohol use by the driver, authorities said Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.
bus, crash, hwy 101, california, greyhound
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2016-13-20
Wednesday, 20 Jan 2016 03:13 PM
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