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Man dies of bus crash injuries

October 11, 2008|From the Associated Press

SACRAMENTO — A ninth victim of a charter bus crash in Northern California died Friday, officials said.

E. Vang Saelee, who had been hospitalized since the Sunday night crash, succumbed to his injuries at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, according to hospital spokeswoman Phyllis Brown. She would provide no details.

Saelee's son, Rick, told the Sacramento Bee that his father was 74 years old and that his mother also died in the crash. Meuay Saelee, 74, had been pronounced dead at the scene, according to the son.

"There's only myself left," a devastated Rick Saelee told the Bee on Friday.

A person who answered a phone number listed under a Richard Saelee in Sacramento said no one by that name lived there when contacted by the Associated Press.

E. Vang Saelee was among dozens injured when a charter bus carrying 45 people overturned on a rural road near the town of Williams, killing eight that night. The bus was shuttling passengers from Sacramento to a Colusa County casino at the time.

The bus owner, Daniel Cobb, was among the dead.

The driver, Quintin Watts, remains hospitalized and is under arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence. A spokeswoman for the California Highway Patrol, which is handling the investigation, said it still was unclear when Watts would be released into its custody.

CHP spokeswoman Fran Clader also confirmed the ninth death Friday, but would release no other information.

Authorities have said the bus had an invalid license plate and Watts didn't have the proper license to transport more than 10 people. Records also show that Watts, 52, had just regained his license in January after it had been suspended for nearly two years because of various traffic violations.

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