Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Student on school bus describes crash that killed 1, injured dozens [Updated]

October 25, 2010 |  4:16 pm
Deadly crash involving school bus in Boyle Heights

A school bus filled with children struck at least one other vehicle in Boyle Heights on Monday afternoon, killing the driver of a car and injuring dozens of students on the bus, which overturned.

Marco Valdez, 17, a passenger on the bus, told The Times the bus was coming from the East Los Angeles Skills Center, an off-campus school for students from Roosevelt High. He said he saw a car hit a pedestrian and swerve and hit the back of the bus.

The bus then overturned onto the Metrolink platform at the corner of Soto and East 1st streets.

“Some kids at the front of the bus were bleeding and scraped up, but everybody seemed all right,” Marco said.

 Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey told KCAL-TV that the majority of the children on the bus suffered only minor injuries and that most got off the bus before firefighters arrived. He said the bus was operated by a private company.

Officers are trying to locate parents of the students, and everyone else is being told to leave the intersection.

Parents can collect bus passengers not taken to hospitals at the LAPD Hollenbeck station.

[Upated at 4:19 p.m.: Los Angeles Fire Depatment Capt. Steve Ruda said there were 54 high school students on the bus. 

He said it was unclear whether the deceased was a passenger in the vehicle or a pedestrian.

Sixteen of the students are being treated for non-critical injuries, Ruda said.

Witness Jose Cisneros was cutting hair at his 1st Street shop when he heard a loud boom. When he rushed outside he saw bus on its side in the plaza area at the Metro stop at 1st and Soto Cisneros said the bus was filled with screaming children, some of whom appeared to be bloody.

He saw a man laying on the ground, lifeless. One of his hands had been severed. There are dozens of people at the scene – some students being interviewed by investigators, local merchants and anxious parents.

The Soto St. Gold Line station has been closed.]

-- Sam Allen and Kate Linthicum in Boyle Heights


Photo: KTLA News