10 Hospitalized After Casino Bus Crash

By Christina London, Elena Gomez and Megan Tevrizian
|  Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013  |  Updated 8:35 AM PDT
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A tour bus crash late Sunday night sent 10 people, including the driver, to the hospital. The bus was headed from Los Angeles to Casino Pauma near Pala. NBC 7 reports from the Palomar Medical Center.

A tour bus crash late Sunday night sent 10 people, including the driver, to the hospital. The bus was headed from Los Angeles to Casino Pauma near Pala. NBC 7 reports from the Palomar Medical Center.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating a tour bus crash near the city of Pala in northern San Diego.

According to CHP, the bus was headed from Los Angeles to the Casino Pauma with 18 passengers on board, all from the L.A. area.

The driver told officials that the brakes failed going around a curve. The bus struck a guard rail and careened to the right, crashing into trees and boulders before coming to a stop.

The accident happened just before 11 p.m. Sunday on Pala Temecula Road near Arouba Road.

Ten people, including the driver, were taken to Palomar Hospital. Officials said the most serious injury was a laceration to the head. All of those passengers have been discharged from the hospital.

CHP said it does not appear alcohol played a role in the crash.

“We don’t really know any of the history of the company right now,” Officer Jim Bettencourt said. “Everything is still pretty fresh.”

“Once we’re able to get the bus out of here, we’re going to do a full mechanical investigation on it to determine if there was anything else wrong with the bus, if it was mechanical or driver error,” he said.

Casino Pauma confimed Polar Express operates the bus route, but NBC 7 has been unable to make contact with the company.

The driver was 58-year-old Danhill Wong of El Monte. The 1996 tour bus is registered to Wong’s address, according to public records.

Part of Pala Temecula Road was closed for hours while officials were on-scene.

Check back for updates on this developing story.


View Pala-Temecula Rd & Arouba Rd in a larger map

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