Yucaipa, CA, February 6, 2013 – The latest event in the tragic tour bus accident of Sunday, February 3rd is the passing of 72-year-old Fred Richardson who had been the driver of the pick-up truck that was struck by the out of control tour bus. According to the San Bernardino County Coroner, Mr. Richardson passed at Loma Linda University Medical Center this morning bringing the death toll up to eight. According to the Press-Enterprise, investigators are piecing together the events of Sunday night that caused the tour bus accident on Highway 38 now 8 people and sending many more to area hospitals. The bus driver, Norberto Perez, 52, of San Ysidro, who survived the accident, reported that the brakes went out on the tour bus that was chartered from Tijuana, Mexico for a day trip to Big Bear. Unable to stop the bus, Perez collided with a Saturn sedan before crossing lanes and hitting Mr. Richardson’s pick-up truck hailing a trailer before overturning the bus containing 38 passengers. The three occupants of the sedan sustained minor injuries. The San Bernardino County coroner’s office has released all of the names of the victims who were on the tour bus ranging in age from 13 to 61; three are from San Diego and four from Tijuana. Six of the victims died at the scene and the seventh victim died at Redlands Community Hospital. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the accident and the National Transportation Safety Board is helping with the investigation. In a disturbing turn of events, investigators cited the white bus in July for a faulty axle and brakes, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which regulates charter bus companies. Over the past year, the National City-based company, Scapadas Magicas LLC, was cited for 36 safety violations involving its vehicles. The consul of Mexico in San Bernardino, Carolina Zaragoza Flores is assisting the survivors. The consulate helped released passengers get medicine, food and a place to rest and will help transport them back to Tijuana when they’re ready.
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