In an instant, what had been a long, articulated bus wrapped around a freeway bridge support near the Medical Center. It happened during morning rush hour. The bus driver, who was on his way back to the METRO bus barn, died instantly.
"He had no passengers on board," said METRO spokesperson Margaret O'Brian Molina. "Apparently as he was headed down the road, we don't know what exactly happened, but he wound up striking a dump truck."
The dump truck had only minor damage, including a scrape on its front bumper.
"We're still looking at that," explained METRO Police Chief Victor Rodriguez. "But it appears that that may be from this incident."
The dump truck driver and his wife were both in the truck when the bus crashed. Neither would talk on camera, but the driver told us the bus veered into his truck and then swerved into the bridge support.
Traffic was brought to a halt on Highway 288 for miles and hours. But the investigation will take far longer. Officials are doing accident reconstruction examination of the bus and determining whether the driver may have had any health issues.
Today, though, METRO is dealing with the loss of one of its own.
METRO CEO George Greanias said, "Our job now, first and foremost, is to be there for the family, for the wife and the two girls, to help them through this very, very difficult period."We are told that the bus was not equipped with a video camera which would have documented the incident.