The driver of a tour bus that encountered two separate accidents in Northern California on Sunday may have been extremely fatigued, California Highway Patrol officers told the Los Angeles Times on Monday. The second accident, on Interstate 5 near Redding, killed one man and sent another 30 people to the hospital with moderate to severe injuries.
According to the Times, Jose Victor Garcilazo Palencia, 67, of Los Angeles, was driving the tour bus early on Sunday when he crashed into a Denny’s in Red Bluff. No one was injured in that accident.
However, at about 7:40 a.m., the bus was traveling along Interstate 5 when, according to the CHP, it drifted off the freeway’s right shoulder and drove into an embankment, where it overturned.
33-year-old Octaviano Garcia, of Parlier, California was killed in the second crash, the Shasta County Coroner’s Office told the Times. Thirty others were injured in the second crash, with many transported to local hospitals to receive treatment.
CHP told the paper that two crashes in one day means the tour bus driver was likely fatigued.
“The California Highway Patrol would like to take this unfortunate opportunity to remind all drivers that driving while fatigued is very dangerous,” the agency said in a statement. “Most people are aware of the dangers of drinking and driving but don’t realize that driving while fatigued can be just as fatal as driving under the influence.”
“Like alcohol, being fatigued slows reaction time, decreases awareness, impairs judgement, and increases your risk of being involved in a collision,” CHP added.
It was not immediately clear on Monday whether the National Transportation Safety Board would launch an investigation into the accidents. A man claiming to be the tour bus driver’s son told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday that he had not yet heard from his father.