Authorities continue to investigate what caused the driver of a truck to drift into an oncoming traffic lane north of Davis on Wednesday, causing a head-on collision with a small bus that left two people dead and eight others injured.
Yolo County coroner’s officials this morning identified one of the victims as Sara Johnson Moss, 35, of Davis, who was a driver assistant in a Ford Econoline bus operated by United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Sacramento.
Jeffery Richard Rivas, 52, of Woodland, was the driver of the Ford truck, Chief Deputy Coroner Robert LaBrash said. He died of multiple blunt-force injuries, while Moss succumbed to blunt-force head, neck and chest injuries.
The crash occurred at 2:47 p.m. as the UCP bus carrying seven special-needs passengers in wheelchairs, traveled northbound on County Road 102 en route to Woodland after dropping off a passenger in Davis, California Highway Patrol Officer Bryan Konvalin said.
At the same time, a man driving a Ford F-250 outfitted with side panels and work boxes headed southbound.
As both drivers approached County Road 28H, the truck drifted into the northbound lane, so close that the female driver of the UCP bus had “no time to react,” Konvalin said.
The left front of the truck struck the left front of the bus, sending the bus spinning clockwise until it came to rest facing west. The truck stopped facing south, and the damage to both vehicles was so extensive that both drivers became trapped inside the twisted wreckage, Konvalin said.
Emergency personnel extricated the driver of the bus, who was hospitalized with major injuries. The driver of the truck and a passenger in the bus, reportedly a support employee who assisted with the special-needs passengers, both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Also extricated from the wreckage were the seven bus passengers, whose ages range from their 20s to their 60s but whose identities were still being confirmed as of Wednesday night “due to a lack of communication skills as a result of their disabilities,” Konvalin said.
The injured were taken by both air and ground ambulance to area hospitals from Vacaville to Sacramento with injuries Konvalin described as being moderate to major.
The identities of the deceased driver and passenger were expected to be released today following family notification, Yolo County Chief Deputy Coroner Robert LaBrash said. CHP officials reported that the truck had been registered in Woodland.
Konvalin said County Road 102 between Roads 27 and 29 was expected to be shut down until about 9 p.m. Wednesday as emergency crews investigated and cleared the crash scene — Yolo County’s second in less than two weeks involving multiple fatalities.
On June 29, three Sacramento-area men were killed when their rental moving truck clipped another car on eastbound Interstate 80 in Davis and ran off the roadway, striking a tree. All three men died at the scene. A makeshift memorial with photos and flowers has been set up at the site.
The CHP’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team will assist with the collision probe, Konvalin said.
— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or (530) 747-8048. Follow her on Twitter @laurenkeene