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Bus crash on I-15 near Fallbrook kills 3, leaves 17 hospitalized

Three women were killed and 17 others injured, including a 5-year-old boy, after a bus crashed off the side of rain-slicked Interstate 15 near Fallbrook Feb. 22.

Emergency personnel responded at 10:24 a.m. to reports that a bus had rolled over off southbound I-15 just south of State Route 76, according to North County Fire Capt. John Choi. The crash happened amid scattered showers that had been dropping rain on the region since before dawn that day, and rain was actively falling as the bus approached the Fallbrook area, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Crews arrived at the scene to find multiple injured people, including some who had been ejected from the bus.

Three people were pronounced dead at the scene, while 17 were taken to Palomar Medical Center, Temecula Valley Hospital and Inland Valley Medical Center, according to CHP Officer Mark Latulippe.

The three killed were identified as a 23-year-old Mexican citizen, a 67-year-old Riverside woman and a 73-year-old Pasadena woman.

The 5-year-old boy suffered injuries that were initially believed to be life-threatening, while three more had injuries that were considered serious but not life-threatening.

On Feb. 24, Latulippe said the 5-year-old boy, who was airlifted to Riverside University Medical Center in Moreno Valley on Sunday, Feb. 23, was in stable condition and expected to recover.

The bus originated in the Los Angeles area and was headed to San Ysidro, Latulippe said.

The driver, a 52-year-old Whittier man, sustained minor injuries and was interviewed at a CHP station. Authorities do not currently suspect drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash. The driver was cooperating with investigators, Latulippe said.

Will Fritz can be reached by email at [email protected].


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