Charter Bus Crashes near Little Lake

BUHS Charter Bus goes off highway 395

April 25th, 2016 (edited at 10:30am to include school statement)
By Arnie Palu

A Charter Bus traveling northbound on Highway 395 drove off the roadway sending the driver and several passengers to area hospitals.  The Charter bus was returning to Bishop after a weekend trip to San Diego.  Bishop Union High School Avid students and chaperons were passengers on the northbound bus.  A total of 9 students and 2 chaperons were transported to medical facilities for treatment.  The driver, 38 year old Edgar Perez of Moreno Valley, was transported to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital with minor injuries.  The collision remains under investigation.

CHP Collision Report
“On April 23, 2016, at approximately 3:38pm, Edgar Perez was driving a charter bus, occupied by five adults and 45 juvenile students, northbound on U.S. 395, approaching Little Lake Road, in the #2 lane at approximately 65 mile per hour.  Due to an unknown reason, Perez allowed the bus to drift to the right, traversing the asphalt shoulder and driving down a dirt embankment.  The bus struck a wooden support beam and a barbed wire fence.  This collision resulted in minor injuries to several of the occupants, who were transported to nearby hospitals for treatment.  This collision is still under investigation by the CHP.” 

Statement from BUHS

On Saturday, April 23, 2016 a charter bus carrying approximately 44 BUHS students and five chaperones and staff members was involved in an accident on HWY 395, approximately 10 north of Pearsonville, California near Little Lake. My office has been in contact with representatives from the charter bus company. According to  officials from the Tour Coach Company, the driver of the bus was experiencing a medical emergency and blacked-out. The bus went off the road and eventually came to an abrupt stop after hitting an anchor cable off of the highway. The driver has undergone surgery for issues related to the symptoms he experienced while driving the bus.
Following the accident nine of our students were transported to the Lone Pine and Ridgecrest Hospitals as precautionary measures for minor injuries and were released that evening. Two BUHS employees were also transported to the hospital for treatment one was released that evening and the other was admitted.
The Bishop Unified School District occasionally uses charter bus companies to transport students for special events. The students on this bus were part of the AVID program at BUHS and were returning from an annual trip visiting college campuses in Southern California. The students had fund-raised the money that was used to contract with the charter bus company.
We are extremely grateful that there were no serious student or staff injuries. My office is working directly with the Tour Coach Company which has already set up an accident claim. We will work with each of our families to insure that all claims are filed properly. Again, we are very thankful that all of our students and staff  members are safely home.
Any further questions can be directed to my office at 760-872-3680.
Barry D. Simpson
Superintendent
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