Details of the deadly October 5, 2008 charter bus crash on Lone Star Road east of Williams, California in Colusa County are emerging as the California Highway Patrol accident and criminal investigation continues. The bus was carrying 42 passengers from Sacramento to Colusa Casino Resort, located on Highway 45 three miles north of Colusa when the driver lost control and the bus flipped into the air, cartwheeled and landed in a ditch.
According to the CHP as reported by ABC News, eight people died on 10/5/08 when the bus overturned on its way to the Colusa Casino Resort including six women – Lou Her, 68; Muang Saephanh, 68; Khou Yang, 67; Meuay Saelee, 74; and Fin Saechae, 64, Ma Vang, 60 and two men Xee Vang, 85 and Daniel E. Cobb, 68. All of them are believed to be from Sacramento. Cobb was the owner of the bus.
All of the thirty-five surviving passengers were injured in the Colusa County bus crash, some of them critically. They are all believed to be from the Sacramento area and of Laotian descent. My deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased accident victims. Please keep them all, including the injured in your prayers.
What is clear is that the 52-year-old driver of the bus from Stockton, Quintin Joey Watts, was not properly licensed to drive the bus, had a felony criminal record, had spent years in prison and was paroled less than a year ago.
Watts is in fair condition in Woodland Memorial Hospital and is under arrest on suspicion of felony driving under the influence. Watts’ criminal record includes convictions for possession of drugs for sale, possession of a firearm, possession of destructive device, check fraud, credit card theft and distributing phoney telecommunication devices. No previous DUI convictions have been uncovered.
The Texas license plates the bus carried were invalid, and no federal Department of Transportation registration number could be found, according to Officer Bob Kays of the CHP’s Williams station. However, a California Public Utilities Commission spokeswomen, Susan Carothers, said the bus had a valid license and insurance coverage. Which is good news for the victims and their families. The CPUC oversees charter transportation companies. Cobb had been registered with the CPUC as a charter operator since 1974, Carothers said.
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