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Car-party bus crash on a San Francisco Bay Area bridge leaves 1 dead and 10 injured


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – On Sunday, a car driven by a drunk driver collided with a 1998 Ford party bus on a San Francisco Bay Area bridge. The driver of the Honda suffered critical injuries, his wife died in the accident and the accident left 9 others injured who were riding in the bus. They all were taken to the hospital with minor-to-moderate injuries, according to the authorities. At the accident spot, the driver of the party bus refused medical attention.

A CHP Officer Art Montiel told that 43-year-old Raul Padilla was driving the red Honda coupe when he struck the center divider of U.S. 101, after which his car came to rest facing the oncoming traffic. The front end of the 1998 Ford party bus, which had 18 people riding in it, struck the disabled car. Two other cars, a silver Honda Civic and a black Lexus were also involved in the crash. The driver of the Honda was taken to Stanford Hospital with major injuries. The drivers of the two other vehicles involved in the collision were not injured. Three individuals with minor injuries were taken to San Francisco General Hospital for treatment. Montiel said, “We’re still trying to figure out who came into contact with what”.

A 36-year-old woman passenger in the Honda was Padilla’s wife who was killed in the collision. Her name has not been released and officials are trying to contact other family members. According to the California Highway Patrol, Padilla was wearing his seatbelt but his wife was not wearing a seat belt.

Investigators believe that Padilla and his wife had been drinking alcohol earlier that evening and Padilla was driving under the influence of alcohol but his level of impairment is not yet known. Montiel said toxicology tests would have to be conducted to determine if Padilla had been driving under the influence of alcohol when the accident occurred and “If it is determined he was under the influence, he could face felony DUI charges and manslaughter charges”. He also told that the bus was equipped with seatbelts but did not know if any of the bus passengers were wearing them when the accident happened. According to Montiel, bus passengers are not required to wear seat belts in California. The bus was towed to an impound yard.

The highway was closed to southbound traffic for two hours for investigation of the crash and the traffic was diverted to city streets.

The accident occurred just 3 weeks after 5 women going to a bridal party were killed just a few miles away in a limousine fire on the nearby San Mateo Bridge.

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About the Author

Aaron Bortel is a Lawyer in the San Francisco Bay Area. He’s been a Criminal Defense attorney for over 25 years whose practice is dedicated exclusively to DUI law. He has offices in Marin County and San Francisco and defends his clients in all Bay Area Courts and at DMV.