California Highway Patrol

3rd Victim in Deadly Rollover Bus Crash on I-15 Was Ejected: ME

At least one witness reported seeing the bus hydroplane and lose control but CHP said it remains unclear if the weather was a contributing factor


Authorities identified Tuesday the third woman killed when a charter bus overturned on a rain-slicked Interstate 15, ejecting several of the 21 people on board.

Cinthya Karely Rodriguez-Banda, 23, was the youngest woman to die in the crash on southbound I-15 just south of state route 76 on Saturday. Maria De La Luz Diaz, 67 of Riverside and Julia Perez Cornejo, 73 of Pasadena, were also killed, the California Highway Patrol said.

The charter bus involved in a deadly rollover crash on Interstate 15 in Fallbrook sits in a lot in Oceanside. (Julia Cardenas)

The crash is now under investigation by a team of four from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The bus was beginning to go uphill when the driver, for unknown reasons, lost control of the bus, CHP said. The bus veered off the road, overturned, and slid down the side of an embankment.

At least one witness reported seeing the bus hydroplane and lose control but CHP said it remains unclear if weather was a contributing factor in the crash. At the scene, the bus could be seen upside down on a muddy embankment.

NBC 7's Melissa Adan has an exclusive update on one of the victims of the deadly Fallbrook bus crash.

Rodriguez-Banda and Maria De La Luz Diaz were both ejected. All three women were pronounced dead at the scene.

Another 18 people, ranging in age from 5 to 75 years old, were also hurt in the crash. Passengers were sent to three local hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to critical.

The 5-year-old boy, from Mexico, reportedly suffered life-threatening head injuries and was being treated at University Riverside Health Services Medical Center, CHP said. On Monday, CHP said the boy was expected to make a recovery.

Most passengers live in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernadino counties, the report said. CHP listed Mexico as the known place of residence for 8 of the 20 passengers.

NBC 7's Niala Charles spoke to a man who witnessed the crash and stopped to help.

The bus driver, 52 of Whittier, who was not suspected to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol but voluntarily submitted to a standard blood sample test, was wearing a seatbelt and suffered minor injuries. He was treated at the scene and interviewed by CHP officers.

All three women killed in the crash were unrestrained, according to the Medical Examiner. It was unclear if the rest of the passengers were utilizing the bus' seatbelts.

The charter bus is owned by Executive Lines Inc., based in El Monte near Los Angeles. CHP said the bus was driving from El Monte to Tijuana, Mexico, picking up passengers from stops such as Baldwin Park, Pomona and Riverside.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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