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Bus passenger describes terror before Calif. crash
Question of the Day
The National Transportation Safety Board was sending a team to the scene.
Lettering on the 1996 bus showed it was operated by Scapadas Magicas LLC, based in National City, Calif.
Federal transportation records show the company is licensed to carry passengers for interstate travel and that it had no crashes in the past two years.
However, buses operated by the firm flunked 36 percent of random inspections on its vehicles— in some cases for brake and tire problems, U.S. government records indicate.
That’s higher than the national average for similar companies — a 21 percent failure rate.
The California company had an overall “satisfactory” rating from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, but records show that three-quarters of similar companies had better safety records.
No one answered the door at the Scapadas Magicas office in a sprawling complex that houses more than 1,300 storage lockers and about 30 small offices.
Greg Etter, general manager of Acropolis Space Center, said the company didn’t run buses out of the facility. He declined to comment further on the tenant.
The bus was carrying dozens of men, women and children who had spent Sunday at a winter recreation area, authorities said.
Crews worked through the night to recover the dead, but one body remained aboard the bus early Monday, said Rocky Shaw, a San Bernardino County coroner’s investigator.
Officials hadn’t been able to retrieve the body because the front end of the bus was dangling over the edge of the roadside.
Investigators were trying to pick up any personal property to help identify victims.
More than three dozen people were injured, and at least 17 were still hospitalized, including at least five in critical condition. One is a girl.
One person in the pickup truck was injured. The fate of the passengers in the car was not clear, but at least two people were in the Saturn, Mr. Lopez said.
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