COLUSA COUNTY, Calif – Yesterday evening at about 6:10 p.m. a charter bus bound for the Colusa Casino Resort drifted or veered off a rural two-lane road before it overcorrected and lost control. It appears the bus rolled several times, ejecting passengers, before coming to rest in a ditch. The accident happened off of Interstate 5, on Lone Tree Road, just east of the town of Williams.
Local emergency responders spent the night looking for victims strewn about the scene. Ten people have been confirmed dead. Twenty to thirty others were sent to local hospitals with serious to critical injuries. A large percentage of the passengers were of Laotian descent, creating some language barriers for the physicians and nurses at the hospitals.
The Redding Record Searchlight reports that the CHP is investigating whether the driver of the bus, also seriously injured, was under the influence of prescription or non-prescription drugs at the time of the crash. Local televison stations reported this morning that the driver has been placed under arrest. This has not been confirmed.
The ownership of the bus was not readily apparent. The markings on the bus identified it as a Greyhound. Greyhound, however, maintains that the bus had been sold to the charter company two years before.
Our heartfelt sorrow goes out to those that were injured or lost a loved one. We hope that the investigation gets to the root cause of this tragedy, so that it does not happen again.