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Second Bus Victim Identified; Driver Fatigued At Time Of Crash

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- A 76-year-old Salinas woman was identified Wednesday by the coroner as the second victim of a deadly Greyhound bus crash in San Jose.

The Santa Clara County Coroner's Office said that Maria De Jesus Ortiz Velasquez died in the Wednesday morning crash.  A family member confirmed to KCBS radio that the other victim was 51-year-old Fely Olivera of Monrovia in Los Angeles County.

While the cause of the crash at 6:38 a.m. near the connector ramp between northbound Highway 101 and northbound state Highway 85 remained under investigation, bus driver Gary Bonslater has told authorities he was feeling fatigued at the time of the accident.

"He stated that he did feel fatigued and that he did get some coffee in Gilroy when he dropped off two passengers," CHP Officer Chris Miceli said.

The bus carrying 20 passengers hit the barrels and then rolled onto the center divider of Highway 101 in San Jose, a major commuting thoroughfare, said Lanesha Gipson, a Greyhound spokeswoman.

One person suffered major injuries, and three others were moderately hurt, officials said. Several others had minor injuries and got patched up at the scene or were ferried to a hospital to be treated for cuts and bruises.

The bus left Los Angeles at 11:30 p.m. Monday with stops planned in Gilroy, San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland, Gipson said. The driver began his shift in LA, and the company requires operators to rest nine hours between trips, she said.

The driver was asked to submit a blood sample to test for alcohol and drugs, Miceli said. Prosecutors have been notified, which is a routine measure, he said.

In addition to the CHP inquiry, the National Safety Transportation Board is sending a team of investigators, agency spokesman Eric Weiss said.

The wreck snarled a morning commute already slowed by rain, backing up northbound Highway 101 for several miles.

Mario Mariscal was driving into work when he came across the crash and snapped a photo of the bus on its side on the median on the rain-slicked highway.

"There was an overwhelming amount of emergency crews there," he said. "Everybody that went out there was definitely doing their job."

Greyhound has set up a hotline for anyone looking for more information on any family members or friends at (800) 972-4583.


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