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Driver in bus crash not DUI

October 15, 2008|From the Associated Press

SACRAMENTO — Toxicology tests show that the driver of a charter bus that crashed on a rural Northern California road, killing nine, was not drunk or on drugs at the time, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Quintin Watts, 52, was released from the hospital where he had been recovering from the Oct. 5 crash and taken into custody Tuesday morning.

He was being held on a suspected parole violation at a Tracy prison as authorities continued their investigation.

The California Highway Patrol initially arrested Watts on suspicion of driving under the influence after the bus overturned on a two-lane road one hour north of Sacramento.

Many of the 42 passengers heading to Colusa Casino Resort were Laotian seniors, and at least eight remain hospitalized.

Watts' mother, Chaney Mae Watts, 77, of Stockton, said her family never believed reports that he had been driving under the influence. She said her son fell into a diabetic coma and regained consciousness only a few days ago.

"We're all really sorry that the accident happened," she said. "When they said DUI, it wasn't the boy I know. It wasn't the boy I raised."

Chaney Mae Watts said her son had a history of health problems related to diabetes.

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