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Bus that crashed near Yosemite was based in Bay Area

April 14, 2013|By Thomas Curwen

The California Highway Patrol is continuing its investigation of a charter tour bus that crashed Saturday evening outside Yosemite National Park.

Seventeen people were aboard the vehicle; 15 passengers and a tour guide sustained minor to moderate injuries in the crash, authorities said. The driver was uninjured.

The bus was operated by Seven Happiness Tour and Charter Inc. in Burlingame, Calif., according to Scott Jobinger, a CHP spokesman.

Adam Wang, manager with Seven Happiness, said that the tour began Saturday morning in the Bay Area, and after a tour of the park, the bus was headed to Fresno for the night. It was to return to Burlingame on Sunday. Seven Happiness runs about two charters to Yosemite each week.

The bus was leaving Yosemite on California 41, or Wawona Road, and was traveling at an unsafe speed when the driver lost control, according to the CHP report.

The speed limit for the road is 55 mph, but several turns in the roadway require slowing, Jobinger said. The accident took place approximately one mile north of local road 630 and about 40 miles south of the park.

The bus veered off the roadway and  angled up a dirt embankment, according to the CHP report, and as the driver attempted to regain control of the vehicle, the bus crossed both lanes of traffic and struck a tree.

“If the tree wasn’t there to stop the bus, it would have continued down a ravine,” CHP Patrol Sgt. Edward Green told the Fresno Bee. The bus came to a stop with its two rear tires in the air. 

The injured were taken to various local hospitals. Intoxication, according to the CHP report, was not a factor in the crash. A vehicle inspection will be performed on the bus to determine if there were any mechanical issue involved in the collision.  

The Bee reported that the injured people -- the majority of whom were elderly -- were taken to three hospitals. Four of the injured were treated at Clovis Community Medical Center and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.

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Twitter: @tcurwen | Facebook

Thomas.curwen@latimes.com

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