On a warm August morning last year, charter bus driver Mario David Vasquez was tired and talking on his cellphone as he weaved a white motor coach through central California farmland shortly before barreling into a pole, prosecutors said Tuesday. Four people died, many more suffered serious injuries and the bus was nearly sliced in half.
Vasquez’s extreme fatigue, violations of commercial regulations and repeated cellphone use on the road led Merced County District Attorney Larry D. Morse II on Monday to file four felony counts of vehicular manslaughter and five misdemeanor vehicle code violations against Vasquez in connection with the Aug. 2, 2016 crash near the farming town of Atwater.
The violations while Vasquez was driving the bus “demonstrated a gross dereliction of the duty he owed not just to his passengers, but to every motorist on Highway 99 that morning,” Morse said in a statement Tuesday announcing the charges..
The wreck happened when the bus heading on a state highway to Washington state struck a large sign post head-on. Driver fatigue was believed to be a major…
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