Bus Driver Killed After Car Slams into School Bus

Man was trapped inside a bus engine compartment for 30 minutes and later died

By Lauren Steussy, Brandi Powell and Monica Garske
|  Friday, Dec 14, 2012  |  Updated 11:28 AM PDT
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A car and a school bus were involved in a deadly collision on the I-805 near El Cajon Boulevard Thursday morning, trapping a man in the bus's engine compartment for half an hour.

The crash occurred just before 7 a.m. on the interstate when a 2005 Nissan Altima crashed into the back of the school bus, which had broken down on the side of the road.

The driver was working on the engine located in the back of the bus when the car lost control and crashed into the rear of the bus, according to a fire department spokesman.

The man was identified by officials as John Friedas Joaquin Jr., 32-year-old school bus mechanic from Ramona.

Joaquin became stuck in the engine compartment upon impact. He was trapped for 30 minutes before being rescued by emergency personnel.

Firefighters pried the man from below the rear of the bus and carried him in a stretcher to the ambulance.

He was transported to the hospital, where doctors were forced to amputate the left leg below the knee. Afterward, his condition rapidly declined. He presented a cardio-respiratory arrest and all resuscitative efforts were unsuccessful. He died at the hospital. 

Both airbags in the Nissan Altima were deployed and the driver -- a 41-year-old woman -- was pulled out in a stretcher. She sustained serious injuries and was transported to a hospital.

CHP officials later confirmed that no children were aboard the school bus at the time of the fatal crash. Witnesses also said they didn't see any children inside.

One fender-bender was also reported near the crash as two people tried to avoid the school bus crash. 

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