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Wrong-Way Driver Killed in Collision With Bus

October 19, 1987|LORI GRANGE | Times Staff Writer

A driver going the wrong way on the San Bernardino Freeway sideswiped a pickup truck Sunday and slammed head on into a tour bus headed for Las Vegas, killing himself and injuring 13 people, police said.

The driver, a 24-year-old from Missoula, Mont., died in the 6:45 a.m. accident west of Herbert Avenue, said Monty Keifer, a California Highway Patrol officer. The man's name was withheld because his family had not been notified.

Police suspected that the man had been drinking, but still were investigating, Keifer said.

All 29 passengers aboard the Casablanca Express tour bus were checked for injuries at hospitals, but only about a dozen needed treatment, authorities said. Three of the passengers suffered major injuries. Lore Aron, 68, and Anne Erland, 66, both of Los Angeles, and Graciela Jiminez, 24, of Huntington Park, were taken to County-USC Medical Center for treatment of broken bones, Keifer said.

The other passengers complained of minor injuries, such as back, shoulder and neck pain, hospital spokesmen said.

The bus driver, Carl Magnuson, 40, of Las Vegas, was not injured, Keifer said.

Police said the errant car, a Mustang convertible, came onto the eastbound freeway traveling west at 40 to 50 m.p.h. The Mustang first caused a pickup truck to swerve and crash into the center divider, then collided with the bus. The bus careened into the fast lane, hit another car and skidded to rest against an embankment.

The driver of the pickup truck, Benjamin Lozano, 39, of Los Angeles, was not injured. The driver of the car in the fast lane, Albert Starek, 70, of Cicero, Ill., was treated at White Memorial Hospital and released Sunday.

Passengers on the bus were transferred to another tour vehicle about 8:15 a.m. Most said they were going home.

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