San Bernardino Investigators examine wreckage Monday Feb. 4, 2012, after a tour bus accident in the Southern California mountains near San Bernardino.
An eighth person involved in a tour bus crash on a two-lane mountain road east of Los Angeles has died three days after the bus collided with two other vehicles before flipping onto its side on an embankment.
The death toll increased to eight after 72-year-old Fred Bailey Richardson, of San Bernardino, was pronounced dead at 6:39 a.m. Wednesday. Richardson, hospitalized at Loma Linda Medical Center since Sunday, was driving a pickup that was struck by the tour bus on Highway 38 near Yucaipa.
Seven other victims were pronounced dead at the scene. They were identified earlier this week as 61-year-old Guadalupe Olivas, of San Diego; 40-year-old Elvira Garcia Jimenez, of San Diego; 13-year-old Victor Cabrera Garcia, of San Diego; 38-year-old Aleida Adriana Arce Hernandez, of Tijuana, Mexico; 34-year-old Rubicelia Escobedo Flores, of Tijuana; 32-year-old Mario Garcia Santoyo, of Tijuana, Mexico; and 24-year-old Liliana Camerina Sanchez Sauceda, of Tijuana, Mexico.
At least 15 people were hospitalized after Sunday night's crash. The bus driver, Norberto B. Perez, 52, of San Ysidro, was among the hospitalized victims with severe injuries.
Passengers told NBC4 he told them before the 6:32 p.m. crash that the brakes were not working and asked them to call 911. The bus struck two vehicles, including a sedan and Richardson's pickup, before flipping and coming to stop on an embankment.
Aerial video after the collision showed Richardson's damaged landscaping service pickup on the side of the road near the tour bus.
The California Highway Patrol, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Carrier Safety Administration are investigating the crash, according to an NTSB spokesman.
Federal records show the carrier -- Scapadas Magicas, which has officers in National City — has history of brake-maintenance problems. Investigators will inspect the bus at an Ontario tow yard as part of a probe that might require months to complete.
The tour bus' passengers were returning from a trip to the Big Bear area. Thirty-eight people were aboard the bus when it left Tijuana, Mexico Sunday morning for the daylong trip.