Oct 31, 2013 1:37 AM by Connie Tran, KSBY News
A frightening morning for some high school students in the Santa Maria area. Their school bus crashed before class, sending the bus driver and three students to the hospital.
The California Highway Patrol said a Righetti High School bus collided with a farming vehicle just before 7am in Sisquoc, which is east of Santa Maria. The accident happened on Foxen Canyon Road south of Orcutt Geary Road.
CHP said ten students were on the bus. Three of them suffered minor to moderate injuries, and had to be taken to the hospital. They were between the ages of 14 and 15.
Officials said 25-year old Hugo Medina of Santa Maria was driving southbound on Foxen Canyon Road and his 1994 Inter Motor Truck had a fertilizer spreader arm extended out and protruding into the northbound lane. The school bus, driven by 44-year old Yolanda Zepeda, was coming down the northbound lane and the fertilizer spreader arm struck her side of the bus. The CHP said the impact caused Zepeda to lose consciousness, which forced the bus to swerve through the lanes and finally careen through a wood fence and a poplar tree.
"The farm equipment has various tubing and pieces that articulate away from it, and not exactly sure how that came about. We're still investigating how the two vehicles collided," said Greg Klingenberg with the CHP.
Zepeda was taken to the hospital with major injuries. According to the CHP, she was pinned inside of the school bus, and it took Santa Barbara County firefighters almost an hour to extricate her from the bus.
Medina, the driver of the farming vehicle, was not injured and was not arrested.
The CHP said the accident is under investigation.
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