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Driver in Colusa County Bus Crash Was Not Intoxicated, Officials Say


California Highway Patrol investigators are now saying that the driver of a charter bus, who caused a crash near Williams in Colusa County on October 5, 2008 that killed nine and injured several others critically, was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the charter bus accident. Quintin Watts, 52, is still being held on a suspected parole violation for driving the bus without a proper license. Our source for this blog is an Associated Press news report.

Colusa County prosecutors are saying that Watts’ toxicology tests came back negative. Now, investigators are looking at what else may have caused the 10/5/2008 crash near Sacramento. Watts could have fallen asleep at the wheel. The bus could have had a mechanical malfunction or an inherent product or design defect. Watts may have been careless or negligent. Or he may have slipped into a diabetic coma. According to his mother, Watts went into such a coma only days before the fatal Colusa County Bus accident.

This case is a great example of how the preliminary determination of “facts” in an auto accident case may not be accurate. In many vehicle accident cases, facts may evolve or different details could gradually emerge, changing the tone and complexion of the case. What was a clear-cut case of an irresponsible, intoxicated bus driver carelessly driving a bus into a ditch and causing a huge tragedy is now a mystery.

This is also exactly why auto accident victims and their families need an experienced personal injury attorney on their side, looking out for their interests. A reputed California auto accident law firm with resources and fire power will use its own accident reconstruction experts and investigators to delve into the details and determine the facts. Law enforcement agencies, very often, do not have the time or the resources to conduct such a thorough investigation.

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