Surveillance Video Shows Tow Truck Slam Into Metro Bus in Deadly Crash

At least three surveillance cameras captured the crash that killed 47-year-old bus driver Olivia Gamboa

By Jonathan Lloyd, Patrick Healy and Annette Arreola
|  Thursday, Jun 13, 2013  |  Updated 11:28 PM PDT
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Video from a security camera positioned near Fifth Street and Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles shows the tragic scene where a tow truck slammed into an MTA bus on Wednesday, killing the bus driver. The video revealed that the traffic light was red for about 10 seconds before the tow truck ran through the intersection. Patrick Healy reports from Downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on June 13, 2013.

Patrick Healy

Video from a security camera positioned near Fifth Street and Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles shows the tragic scene where a tow truck slammed into an MTA bus on Wednesday, killing the bus driver. The video revealed that the traffic light was red for about 10 seconds before the tow truck ran through the intersection. Patrick Healy reports from Downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on June 13, 2013.

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Surveillance Video Shows Deadly Bus, Tow Truck Collision

Surveillance video from a camera on a building on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles shows the crash involving a tow truck and Metro bus. Witnesses told police the tow truck was traveling at a high rate of speed when it entered the intersection against a red light and slammed into the bus, killing the bus driver.

Police: Tow-Truck Driver Ran Red Light, Killing Metro Bus Driver

A flat-bed tow truck blew through a red light collided with a Metro bus early Wednesday. Bus driver Olivia Gamboa suffered fatal wounds. Residents who live above the intersection recalled hearing “destruction” at the time of the crash. Patrick Healy reports from Downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 4:30 p.m. on June 12, 2013.
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Surveillance video from a camera on a downtown Los Angeles building shows a tow truck enter an intersection and slam into a Metro bus in Wednesday morning's crash that killed the 47-year-old bus driver -- a case that police are looking at as a murder investigation.

Flowers, cards and other items in memory of the bus driver, identified as 47-year-old Olivia Gamboa, were left at the intersection of Fifth Street and Broadway. Several mourners were at the location Thursday morning.

Gamboa, of Montebello, was pronounced dead at a hospital after she was thrown from the bus when it was struck by a tow truck that witnesses said entered the intersection against a red light.

Witnesses also told police the truck was traveling at speeds around 60 mph on downtown streets.

"We're looking at a murder investigation," said Sgt. Greg Hoyte, the LAPD Central Traffic watch commander.

One of three surveillance cameras that provided police with video of Wednesday's crash was facing south, toward Fifth Street, from a building on Broadway. The video shows the truck, traveling south on Broadway as the bus operated by Gamboa enters the intersection.

The force of the collision tore off the front of the bus, which nearly tipped onto its side upon impact.

"I have too much anger in me against that person. He shouldn't have been out driving," said Gamboa's Metro co-worker, Maureen King, of the tow-truck driver.

Witnesses told police they found Gamboa, of Montebello, face-down in water from a hydrant that was sheared off in the crash. She was transported to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead later Wednesday morning.

The tow truck careened off the bus and into the entrance of a 7-Eleven store at the intersection. Mourners left items in memory of Gamboa outside the store, which was not open at the time of the crash.

"We're very lucky," said store owner Matt Mattu. "She probably got up, had coffee, planned her day. And now, she's gone."

The tow truck driver remained hospitalized Thursday morning in critical condition. An NBC4 I-Team investigation found the driver, identified as Yousef Adhami, 43, of Gardena, lacked both a proper commercial driver's license and an operating permit for the business.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles told NBC4 that Adhami’s Hermosa Beach Towing does not have a permit to legally operate in the state.

A Metro spokesman said the driver was just starting her morning route and there were no passengers on board.

Flowers had been left where her maroon minivan was parked in an employee lot.

"No matter how difficult, or how bad a day, she always had a smile," King said of Gamboa.

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