1 killed, 19 injured in SoCal school bus collision

October 25, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
At least two vehicles, including a school bus, were involved in a collision in Boyle Heights Monday afternoon.

The collision occurred at 2332 E. 1st St. at Soto St. at about 3:22 p.m. Traffic in the area was shut down during the investigation. Soto Street was fully closed north- and southbound at 1st St.

At least one person was killed in the collision.

A school bus was overturned on the street. At least two other vehicles were involved. According to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and a CHP spokesman, a black BMW sedan traveling eastbound on 1st Street ran a red light at Soto St., a three-stoplight intersection, and struck and killed a pedestrian, then continued through the intersection, striking the school bus.

The bus was traveling southbound on Soto St. from the East L.A. Skills Center en route to Roosevelt High School.

The BMW broadsided the bus. The bus driver lost control and the bus turned over on its side.

Two individuals in the BMW fled on foot after the collision. They were captured immediately by at least one construction worker, according to authorities.

The two men were evaluated by fire department personnel for injuries. It was also to be determined whether the driver was impaired by drugs or alcohol.

The driver of the sedan could face criminal homicide charges, but Chief Beck cautioned the investigation was still in its early stages and all information was preliminary.

L.A. City Fire Dept., Los Angeles Police Dept. and California Highway Patrol personnel arrived on scene immediately after the collision to investigate and treat patients.

The school bus was from Roosevelt High School, according to the principal of that school. The students were reportedly being driven from the East L.A. Skills Center to Roosevelt High when the collision occurred. The center is a satellite campus for Roosevelt.

According to the L.A. City Fire Dept., one person was killed. No students were killed.

The L.A. City Fire Dept. revised its earlier report of students injured: There were 26 non-injured students, and 18 students were transported to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. A total of 44 students were riding on the bus during the collision.

The school bus driver was transported to a hospital in critical condition; that was later revised to serious condition.

It was earlier reported that 54 students were riding on the bus; 38 sustained minor injuries; 16 students needed "basic life support" treatment and were transported to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

All children were in "satisfactory condition," according to the fire department.

Rescue personnel arrived on scene and immediately set up triage areas to treat patients.

According to the L.A. City Fire Dept., upon arriving at the scene firefighters found "multiple hazards," including a fuel spill.

Firefighters helped with extracting students from the bus.

Rescue personnel set up color-coded tarpaulins at the triage scene where patients were placed according to severity of injuries: red tarp for the most serious, yellow tarp for less serious and green tarp for the least serious injuries. By 4:30 p.m., the triage area had been cleaned up and removed.

Serious injuries were transported to Roosevelt High School's athletic field, where L.A. City Fire Dept. helicopters were waiting to transport patients to hospitals.

Police officials have instructed parents to go to Hollenbeck Police Station for more information, located at 2111 E. 1st Street, Los Angeles, (323) 342-4100.

Parents seeking information from Roosevelt High School can call (323) 780-6500.

The California Highway Patrol investigates school-bus collision incidents.

Authorities were seeking witnesses to the incident. A Metro Rail station is located nearby and multiple witnesses were thought to have seen the incident.

One witness on scene told ABC7 the fatality was a man riding a bicycle. The witness also said she saw two men leave a black vehicle and run away. She said they came back to retrieve a gun.

A heavy-duty tow vehicle arrived on scene at 4:30 p.m. to pull the overturned school bus upright.

All injured had been reportedly been transported by 4:50 p.m.

A four-door black sedan could be seen behind the overturned bus. The front end of the sedan was completely demolished. A second school bus was upright on the side of the street between the crushed sedan and the overturned school bus.

Metro bus lines 30, 251, 252, 605, 620 and 751 were detoured around the intersection of 1st and Soto streets. The Metro Gold Line is bypassing the Soto station.

The investigation and clean-up were expected to take several hours. The Los Angeles Police Dept. and the California Highway Patrol were investigating the collision jointly.


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