Police identify victims in Palm Springs, California, bus crash
By NBC News
Photo by NBC News.
by CHELSEA BAILEY
Police in Southern California on Monday identified all but one of the 10 women and three men who died in a horrific crash on Interstate 10 early Sunday.
Twelve passengers were killed when a USA Holiday tour bus slammed into the back of a tractor-trailer near Palm Springs, California. More than 30 other people were wounded.
The truck driver, who sustained minor injuries, was treated at a hospital and released.
Police identified 11 of the 12 the passengers who died as Zoila Aguilera, 72; Conception Corvera, 57; Milagros Gonzales, 72; Gustavo Green, 62; Isabel Jimenez Hernandez, 66; Ana Gomes de Magellan, 71; Dora Galvez de Rodriguez, 69; Rosa Ruiz, 53; Elvis Sanchez, 52; Aracely Tije, 63; and Teodulo Vides, 59.
Teodulo Elias Vides, owner, operator and driver of the USA Holiday bus, was also killed. The identity of a remaining victim was withheld pending notification of relatives, officials said.
A team of investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) arrived at the scene Monday.
At the time of the incident, traffic in the area had slowed because of utility work ahead, officials said. NTSB officials said they are investigating whether drivers were properly warned of the work, as well as whether the speed of the tour bus or driver fatigue were factors.
Late Sunday, Facebook user David Hirschfield posted an interview with a man who claimed to be the driver of the tractor-trailer. In the video, the driver — who is identified only as "Bruce" — said that he lost consciousness immediately after impact but that when he woke up, he jumped out and tried to help rescue victims.
"Well I'll just say I'm blessed to be here. If God gives you an opportunity to help people, that's what you do," he said.