At Least 5 Killed in Tour Bus Accident on Highway 99 in Merced County, California

At Least 5 Killed in Tour Bus Accident on Highway 99 in Merced County, California

MERCED COUNTY, California – Rescue efforts lasted for hours as dozens of injured passengers were shuttled to local hospitals.


Authorities say at least 30 people were on board the bus when it crashed around 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday between Livingston and Atwater in Merced County. Six people were mediflighted to undisclosed hospitals and another 16 people were taken to Doctors Hospital, Emmanuel Medical Center, and Mercy Medical Center.

Authorities say at least 30 people were on board the bus when it crashed around 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday between Livingston and Atwater in Merced County. Six people were mediflighted to undisclosed hospitals and another 16 people were taken to Doctors Hospital, Emmanuel Medical Center, and Mercy Medical Center.

Only a handful of the bus passengers escaped injury. They were taken to the Merced California Highway Patrol (CHP) station where they were given food and water. The CHP said they plan to interview the survivors as part of the investigation.

“They will be interviewed as part of the investigation. As of now, what we are trying to do is make sure they are in a safe place away from the freeway — in a safe location where we can conduct the rest of the investigation,” said Moises Onsurez, Merced Area CHP.

The charter bus was heading from Mexico to Pasco, Washington. They had previously made a stop in Los Angeles and the next planned stop was in Livingston followed by Sacramento.

“They were stopped in Los Angeles last night. And again, the next stop was going to be here in Livingston on their way to Sacremento and then all the way up to Washington,” said Onsurez.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation. The driver, 57-year-old Mario David Vasquez from Los Angeles is still alive but sustained major injuries. Officials won’t comment any further on his condition.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said they are dispatching a team of investigators.

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