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Bus crashes in California, four die

A charter bus crash on the northbound lane of Highway 99 between Atwater and Livingston in Merced County, California last Tuesday, August 2 resulted in four deaths, according to the California Highway Patrol.

According to preliminary investigations, the bus was traveling along the highway when it veered off the freeway and crashed into a pole that sliced the vehicle almost in half.

The deceased were identified as 57-year-old Fernando Ramirez and 64-year-old Petra Carillo Ruiz, a Mexican married couple who were going to visit a daughter in Pasco in Franklin County, Washington and 58-year-old Avalon, California resident Jose Morales Bravo, whose wife was hospitalized due to injuries she sustained in the crash. The fourth victim was identified only as a 38-year-old man whose identity will only be revealed after the authorities had been able to contact his family through the Mexican consulate, Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said.

Driver fatigue is suspected to be the cause of the accident and the attorneys here at Ritter & Associates urge any commercial drivers to take breaks as necessary to keep passengers and other drivers safe. Our thoughts go out to all of the victims and their loved ones.

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