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Tour bus crash - largest accident victim count in over 5 years in Fallbrook area leaves one dead, 19 injured


Thursday, December 19th, 2013
Issue 51, Volume 17.
Debbie Ramsey
Managing Editor


A chartered tour bus, with 21 people aboard, spun out and overturned in the rain on Interstate 15 in Fallbrook at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 19. The accident, which occurred just south of the State Route 76 intersection, left one woman dead and 19 other passengers injured. Authorities said the incident resulted in the highest number of injuries in a single crash in over five years here.

"We were triaging the victims at the scene to determine the order they were being sent to the hospitals," said John Buchanan, public information officer for North County Fire. "In addition to one fatality, there were six passengers with serious injuries, meaning they had potential life-threatening situations going on; and 13 with varying types of minor injuries." According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), one passenger voluntarily left the scene and did not request medical attention.

Buchanan said the injured were divided for transport to three different area hospitals – Palomar, Tri City, and Fallbrook.

The bus, operated by Five Star Bus Charter, had departed from the Panorama City (Los Angeles) area and was enroute to Valley View Casino in Valley Center. It was being driven by a 56-year-old man from Compton.

"The driver indicated that the bus company was from the city of Bell," said CHP public information officer Jim Bettencourt.

Bettencourt said, "The driver stated that he was driving in the number four lane at 55 mph when his bus started to lose control on the roadway. The driver attempted to correct the out of control bus but was unsuccessful. The bus continued to the right shoulder and overturned on its left side."

"Slick roadways in the area due to recent rain may have prevented the bus driver from regaining control of the bus," said Bettencourt.

Bettencourt said no other vehicles were involved in the collision and that neither alcohol nor drugs appeared to be a factor.

The San Diego Medical Examiner identified the woman killed in the crash as Tayde Murguia, 64, of Van Nuys. As a result of the incident, Murguia was partially ejected from the bus and trapped underneath it.

Buchanan said the bus had to be raised so emergency workers could remove her body.

"The accident victims were in the age ranges of 40s to 60s," said Buchanan.

Buchanan said North County Fire was assisted by both Oceanside and Vista Fire Departments at the scene of the accident.

The California Highway Patrol is conducting the investigation into the accident, which led to two lanes of southbound Interstate 15 being shutdown for several hours. Significant traffic delays were experienced by both drivers traveling southbound and northbound for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Tour bus crash leads to fatality; 19 injured

Debbie Ramsey

Managing Editor

A chartered tour bus, with 21 people aboard, spun out and overturned in the rain on Interstate 15 in Fallbrook at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 19. The accident, which occurred just south of the State Route 76 intersection, left one woman dead and 19 other passengers injured. Authorities said the incident resulted in the highest number of injuries in a single crash in over five years here.

"We were triaging the victims at the scene to determine the order they were being sent to the hospitals," said John Buchanan, public information officer for North County Fire. "In addition to one fatality, there were six passengers with serious injuries, meaning they had potential life-threatening situations going on; and 13 with varying types of minor injuries." According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), one passenger voluntarily left the scene and did not request medical attention.

Buchanan said the injured were divided for transport to three different area hospitals – Palomar, Tri City, and Fallbrook.

The bus, operated by Five Star Bus Charter, had departed from the Panorama City (Los Angeles) area and was enroute to Valley View Casino in Valley Center. It was being driven by a 56-year-old man from Compton.

"The driver indicated that the bus company was from the city of Bell," said CHP public information officer Jim Bettencourt.

Bettencourt said, "The driver stated that he was driving in the number Advertisement
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four lane at 55 mph when his bus started to lose control on the roadway. The driver attempted to correct the out of control bus but was unsuccessful. The bus continued to the right shoulder and overturned on its left side."

"Slick roadways in the area due to recent rain may have prevented the bus driver from regaining control of the bus," said Bettencourt.

Bettencourt said no other vehicles were involved in the collision and that neither alcohol nor drugs appeared to be a factor.

The San Diego Medical Examiner identified the woman killed in the crash as Tayde Murguia, 64, of Van Nuys. As a result of the incident, Murguia was partially ejected from the bus and trapped underneath it. Buchanan said the bus had to be raised so emergency workers could remove her body.

"The accident victims were in the age ranges of 40s to 60s," said Buchanan.

Buchanan said North County Fire was assisted by both Oceanside and Vista Fire Departments at the scene of the accident.

The California Highway Patrol is conducting the investigation into the accident, which led to two lanes of southbound Interstate 15 being shutdown for several hours. Significant traffic delays were experienced by both drivers traveling southbound and northbound for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

(previous story)

Tour bus crash has largest victim count in over 5 years in Fallbrook area; one killed, 19 injured

Debbie Ramsey

Managing Editor

A tragic accident involving a tour bus traveling on Interstate 15 in Fallbrook this afternoon left one female passenger dead and 19 of her fellow passengers injured.

While the cause of the accident is still under investigation, the bus, which was operated by a charter company had reportedly departed from the Los Angeles area and was enroute to Valley View Casino. The bus ended up spinning around on the wet freeway and eventually came to rest on its side shortly before 2:30 p.m. today, Dec. 19. The incident took place on Interstate 15 southbound, about one-third mile south of the State Route 76 intersection.

According to North County Fire public information officer John Buchanan, the number of victims in this crash was the largest the agency has seen in a single crash in over five years.

"We were triaging the victims at the scene to determine the order they were being sent to the hospitals," he said. "We had six with serious injuries, meaning they had potential life-threatening situations going on. We had 13 with varying types of minor injuries and one passenger left the scene (supposedly in another vehicle)."

The woman who was fatally injured was trapped under the bus, which Buchanan said had to be raised so emergency workers could remove her body.

Buchanan said North County Fire was assisted by both Oceanside and Vista Fire Departments at the scene of the accident and victims were transported to three different hospitals for treatment - Palomar, Tri City, and Fallbrook.

"The accident victims were in the age ranges of 40s to 60s," said Buchanan.

The California Highway Patrol is conducting the investigation into the accident.

The accident led to two lanes of Interstate 15 being shutdown for several hours and traffic delays were experienced by drivers traveling both southbound and northbound for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

This story will be updated as more information is made available by officials.

(Earlier reports)

FALLBROOK - According to North County Fire public information officer John Buchanan, there was one fatality in the overturned tour bus, six passengers with serious injuries, 13 with minor injuries and one who walked away from the scene and left in a car. Only the #4 lane of southbound 15 is closed at this time, just south of SR 76. It is believed that at least one other vehicle was involved in the accident.

Accident fatality closes two I-15 southbound lanes

FALLBROOK - An accident involving a tour bus occurred around 2:30 pm on southbound I-15 just south of SR 76 included a fatality and has closed the #3 and 4 lanes and the southbound onramp from 76 until further notice. More details will be posted as they become available.


 

16 comments

Comment Profile ImageDavies
Comment #1 | Thursday, Dec 19, 2013 at 11:31 pm
These casino bus drivers drive like idiots
Comment Profile ImageLee Chew
Comment #2 | Friday, Dec 20, 2013 at 6:32 am
I have seen these buses traveling North and South on I-15 driving at speeds of 85 miles an hour. I have also called the bus companies and complained but the person on the phone didn't really have/give any concern. In the future I guess we should all just call 911 to report the safety concern.
Comment Profile Imagejoni
Comment #3 | Friday, Dec 20, 2013 at 6:56 am
My thoughts and prayers go out to the passenngers, their families and all of our First Responders. This is a tradgedy for all. If you know a firefighter, ambulance driver, ER nurse, doc or triage worker, Chaplin or anyone else involved in assisting all these people, make sure to give them an extra hug today and for weeks and years to come. It is truly a tragedy for everyone. Our community will be forever effected. Thanks goodness we live in a community of great support!
Merry Christmas to the rest of you. Take a moment to reflect on those not as fortunate.
Comment Profile ImageThe Dude
Comment #4 | Friday, Dec 20, 2013 at 9:52 am
Village News: was there a second accident on Mission just after Ranger road?

VILLAGE NEWS - We have not received any info about one.
Comment Profile Imagecorrect
Comment #5 | Friday, Dec 20, 2013 at 11:00 am
I always see these buses going high 70s, even 80s in the fast lane. Aren't buses not supposed to be in the fast lane? What the heck? I always wish there were a CHP in these situations (but hasn't been the case), these buses should not be in the fast lane doing these speeds.
Comment Profile ImageCommuter
Comment #6 | Friday, Dec 20, 2013 at 11:18 am
I agree with the comments on how these big buses are driven. I also see them on the 15 driving 80+ in the fast lane and also going in and out of lanes to pass slower drivers. I always mention to my husband how there is never a CHP officer on the road when you need one.
Comment Profile ImageJust saying....
Comment #7 | Friday, Dec 20, 2013 at 1:05 pm
@correct - maybe I am misunderstanding, but I believe the number four lane is the slow lane. Unless their is unintentional meaning, the standard for lane counting is that lane one is the "fast lane"... Sounds like this is just a simple tragic accident; at least I hope there is no critical stupidity to blame...
Comment Profile ImageThe Dude
Comment #8 | Friday, Dec 20, 2013 at 1:12 pm
No need to post, but there was an accident on Mission at the same time as the bus accident, 2 cars involved, Mission reduced to one lane. Sat in the resulting traffic, saw 2 cars on flatbeds, mangled. Just curious if it was a coincidence that there were 2 accidents seemingly within 2-3 miles of each other.
Comment Profile ImageJust Me
Comment #9 | Friday, Dec 20, 2013 at 1:28 pm
THREE bus crashes within 50 miles of each other in one day. Is it just me, or are these crazy bus drivers I see every day getting out of hand?
Comment Profile ImageFallbrook res.
Comment #10 | Friday, Dec 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm
This is so sad. If anyone knows the rules about bus speeds and what lane they should be in and who to call to report. Please, list them,so we can all help to slow them down.
Comment Profile ImageReality Checker
Comment #11 | Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 at 7:34 am
I drive that every day, those busses pass me and I'm doing 80. With everyone else, of course. Wouldn't want to obstruct the flow of traffic, you see.
Comment Profile Imagedeluz dude
Comment #12 | Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 at 1:59 pm
It is so sad and preventable. The casinos actually pay these bus companies to bring customers and the driver is aih=always in Hurry...to deliver and go back for more customers. They do drive like nascar following too close and speeding or drafting. I used to drive bus and trucks and he probably was going too fast downhill on I-15 on rain soaked #4 lane because #1 was occupied and as we all know that trucks leak oil and they mostly drive slow lane or they're supposed to anyway. Conclusion oil and water make road very slick and the bus just got away and he/she lost control. The CHP needs to go after these clowns more aggressively. They scare me...along with the clowns driving Robertson gravel trucks. 80,000lbs of gravel/sand tailgating and speeding because they get paid by load....
Comment Profile Imagemisse
Comment #13 | Sunday, Dec 22, 2013 at 8:33 am
We have electronic tracking in our trucks that tell me everything, route,speed,SPEEDING, maintance info, ect...These buses should be required by law to have them. Anyone who drives the Avocado Highway has seen these casino bound buses speeding to and from their destinations.
Comment Profile ImageFallbrook School Buses
Comment #14 | Sunday, Dec 22, 2013 at 3:40 pm
While were on the subject of speeding busses, maybe now is the time to do something about our school bus drivers driving way too fast. God bless to the victims!
Comment Profile ImagePsssst
Comment #15 | Sunday, Dec 22, 2013 at 10:25 pm
This is such a sad situation. I wish peace on the families.
Comment Profile Imagejennifer loe
Comment #16 | Thursday, Dec 26, 2013 at 10:54 am
Accidents can happen anytime that is why we have to be careful of what we're doing, but still we can't avoid accidents to happen. The most difficult thing in an accident is that when you're alone. I am so glad I found an application SafeKidZone, it's a safety management device. Whenever you’re in trouble you can actually press that Panic Button and your exact GPS coordinates will be sent over to their system and they will know where you are. They also got what we call a Safety Profile wherein you can upload your recent picture and any information about you. Whenever there is a real emergency, they can route it over to the nearest 9-1-1 center based on your GPS location. So essentially, responders will take less time in getting there because they know where you are. And of course, they will know what you look like. Check this link:http://www.SafeKidZone.com/

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.

 

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