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California Briefing / SACRAMENTO

CHP arrests driver in fatal bus crash

October 07, 2008|Eric Bailey

Authorities arrested a bus driver on suspicion of drunk driving early Monday in the aftermath of a horrific crash on a rural Colusa County road that left eight casino-bound passengers dead and 35 others injured.

Quintin Joey Watts, 52, of Stockton was arrested at a nearby hospital where he had been taken with critical injuries, said Officer Bob Kays, a California Highway Patrol spokesman.

Among the dead was the owner of the bus, Daniel E. Cobb Sr., 68, of Sacramento, who owns Beeline Tours and Cobbs Bus Service, both based in Sacramento. The charter bus operator had posted an ad last Thursday for a bus driver position.

Also among the dead were Lou Her and Muang Saephanh, both 68; Meuay Saelee, 74; Fin Saechae, 64; and Khou Yang, 67. All were from Sacramento. Two others who died have not yet been identified.

Kays said an initial review by CHP investigators indicated that Watts did not have the proper license or certification to drive a commercial bus, and that the vehicle also did not appear to be properly registered.

Watts was driving north on a two-lane country road, ferrying a full load of passengers from Sacramento to nearby Colusa Casino when the accident took place Sunday evening.

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