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Church bus drifted into opposing lane, colliding with other vehicle, report finds

February 22, 2011 |  2:54 pm

The bus crash that killed one and injured 23 in the San Bernardino Mountains on Monday apparently was caused when the bus driver drifted into the opposing lane and collided with an SUV, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The 1998 Bluebird bus hit a Nissan Murano on a nearly hairpin turn on the two-lane California 189 highway outside Twin Peaks near Lake Arrowhead, according to an investigative report by the agency. The bus then plummeted down an embankment and slammed into a tree, killing the bus driver.

“The reason for the bus driving left of the double yellow lines is still under investigation," the CHP report, released Tuesday afternoon, stated.

The driver of the Nissan was identified as Mark Peebles of Lake Arrowhead. His wife, Jacquelynn, was a passenger. Both sustained minor injuries. Peebles works for the San Bernardino County Fire Department and was off duty when the collision occurred shortly before noon Monday.

Most of the passengers on the bus belonged to a youth group at the Light of Love Mission Church in Pasadena. The bus passengers' ages ranged from 11 to 28.

The names of the juveniles were not released. According to the CHP report, the adults on the bus that were injured were: Jaewoo Lee, 18, of Arcadia; Sukhee Jang, 18, of Huntington Beach; Catheryn Jo, 28, whose city of residence was unknown; Hyung Hong, 25, of Tujunga; Eunji Kweon, 18, of Pasadena; Claire Kim, 18, of Arcadia; and Hyasun Lim, 28, of Arcadia.

Six people injured in the crash remained in critical condition at Inland Empire hospitals Tuesday, including a 12-year-old girl from the Pasadena church group who suffered severe head trauma, authorities said.

All 23 survivors were taken to area hospitals after the crash.


Photos: Bus crashes in mountains near Crestline

No seat belts on church bus involved in fatal crash

Six people injured in bus crash near Twin Peaks remain in critical condition

-- Phil Willon and Victoria Kim