15 Passengers Hospitalized in Central Valley Tour Bus Crash

The tour bus was bound for Washington after leaving Los Angeles Monday evening

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A tour bus on its way from Los Angeles to Washington State crashed in Central California. The bus is run by a company the NBC4 I-Team exposed just weeks ago for a history of safety problems. Joel Grover reports for the NBC4 News Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014. (Published Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014)

    Fifteen people were hospitalized after a tour bus traveling from Los Angeles crashed into a truck in the Central Valley late Monday night.

    Investigation: Tour Bus Safety | Feds Shut Down Bus Companies

    The crash occurred in Tulare (map), about 170 miles north of Los Angeles. The bus, which struck the rear of the truck, was bound for Yakima, Wash.

    "The driver of the bus ran into the rear of the big rig," said CHP Officer Scott Jobinger. "The driver was not cited. That could change."

    CHP Issues Stinging Report For Bus Companies

    [LA] CHP Issues Stinging Report For Bus Companies
    The CHP issues a stinging report three weeks after a surprise inspection at the offices of a local bus company. CHP officials say one carrier must make a lot of changes, or face possible shutdown. Joel Grover reports for the NBC4 News Monday Jan. 6, 2014. (Published Monday, Jan 6, 2014)

    At least 15 people, including the 60-year-old driver, were hospitalized with minor injuries after the crash on northbound State Route 99 , according to the California Highway Patrol. Thirty-six people were aboard the bus, operated by Fronteras Del Norte, which shuttles passengers up and down the West Coast.

    USDOT: Passenger Carrier Safety

    Fronteras was exposed in a recent NBC4 I-Team undercover investigation that found drivers using handheld cellphones while speeding. Federal inspectors did a thorough review of the company, and gave it some bad marks, but allowed it to keep operating.

    The driver of the crashed blamed fog.

    But the National Weather Service reported there was no fog at the time.

    Fronteras owner Joel Lopez said he was "confident that my driver did the best job possible to his ability."

    Monday's crash was the third major tour bus crash in the state in less than a month.

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