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CHP issues a final report on Greyhound Crash

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The California Highway Patrol is issuing a final report into the Greyhound bus accident last July that killed six and injured 22 others.

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The CHP investigation into last summer's deadly Greyhound bus crash lasted 11-months. It has concluded 18-year-old Sylvia Garay was to blame.

The report says Greyhound bus driver James Jewett did not have time to take evasive action.

The July 22nd crash on Northbound Highway 99 near the McKinley exit left six people dead and 22 others injured. The CHP Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team (M.A.I.T.) recreated the accident in October. They drew up a detailed diagram with all the physical evidence it compiled and has now completed a 627-page report.

"The conclusion of this comprehensive investigation revealed that Sylvia Garay caused the collision by driving under the influence of alcohol," said CHP Assistant Chief Steve Badilla.

Assistant Chief Badilla says 18-year-old Sylvia Garay of Dinuba lost control of her Chevy Blazer, overcorrected, and then crashed on Highway 99.

"The vehicle did roll over and land, blocking the number one lane. At that time the impact with the concrete median barrier it suffered major damage to the battery which turned off all the lamps in the vehicle," said Sgt. Rob Krider with M.A.I.T.

Investigators say it was just a dark object in the road. Two-and-a-half minutes after the crash, Sylvia Garay, 20-year-old Stephanie Cordoba, and 19-year-old Vanessa Gonzales were trying to get out of their car when the Greyhound bus smashed into their vehicle.

"Three girls inside the Chevy trailblazer were ejected from the impact and died as a result of the collision."

The CHP determined Greyhound bus driver James Jewett could not see the car until seconds before impact.

"Party 2, James Jewett, the driver of the Greyhound bus, was found not to be at fault for this collision."

Jewett and two passengers on the Greyhound bus were also killed in the crash.

"There's no indication the bus was speeding. There was no indication Mr. Jewell was under the influence of alcohol or he was fatigued."

The Greyhound bus was found to have cracked brake pads, but Sgt. Krider says that wouldn't have made a difference in the bus' stopping ability.

A woman driving a Honda CRV was also involved in the crash. Her car hit a tree and she survived the smashup.

Stay with ABC30 and ABC30.com for more on this developing story.

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fresno, fresno county, greyhound, local
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