Manslaughter charges filed against bus driver in deadly 2016 crash near Livingston

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The investigation into the crash revealed the driver, Mario David Vasquez, appeared to be driving on little sleep. (KFSN)

The investigation into the crash revealed the driver, Mario David Vasquez, appeared to be driving on little sleep. While his drivers log indicated he had 6 and a half hours of sleep the day before, cell phone records appear to show he was on the phone during some of the time he was supposedly sleeping.

According to court documents, Vasquez drove from nearly eight hours, leaving Mexico at 7:30 in the evening August 1st of last year, until the bus crashed on highway 99 near Livingston at 3:18 the following morning. It also appeared he was using his cell phone throughout his drive, though not at the moment of impact.
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In a written statement Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse said "Mr. Vasquez's extreme fatigue, violations of commercial regulations, and repeated use of his cell phone while entrusted with the care of passengers demonstrated a gross dereliction of duty he owed, not just to his passengers, but to every motorist on Highway 99 that morning."

The DA has charged Vasquez with four counts of vehicular homicide, for the deaths of Jose Morales Bravo, a 68-year-old from Avalon, California, and three Mexican citizens, 38-year-old Jaime De Los Santos, 57-year-old Fernando Ramirez, and 64-year-old Petra Carillo Ruiz.

The bus, owned by Autobuses Coordinados USA of Los Angeles, had a history of mechanical problems, and the driver, Vasquez, had several past traffic violations.

In addition to the homicide charges, Vasquez faces several misdemeanor charges for allegedly keeping inaccurate driving records.

Vasquez, who is 58-years-old, was also badly injured in the crash and has been recovering at home in Southern California. He has been served with the charges and is scheduled to be arraigned in Merced Superior Court on August 30th.

Related Topics:
court casemerced countybus crashLivingston
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