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UPDATE: Driver arrested in connection with Los Alamos bus crash

Posted at 12:15 PM, Jan 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-31 13:49:25-05

(UPDATE: 12:10 p.m.) – The California Highway Patrol says the driver of an Amtrak bus that crashed near Los Alamos Friday morning was arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance.

The driver, identified as Laura Mae Gish, 50, of Goleta and six passengers were taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries, according to CHP.

Officers say Gish allowed the Volvo Bus carrying 25 passengers to drift off the road where it went down a dirt culvert, hit a tree and landed on its side.

Gish was arrested at the scene of the crash. She was not listed as being in custody at Santa Barbara County Jail as of 12:15 p.m. Friday.


(UPDATE: 9:45 a.m.) – Passengers aboard the Amtrak bus that crashed off of Highway 101 near Los Alamos Friday morning say they are lucky to be okay.

Many of the passengers were asleep on their early-morning bus ride from Northern California to Santa Barbara when the bus somehow ended up on its side.

“I don’t know, man. We were just cruising along and before you know it, we started sliding and hit something,” said passenger Wilson Hudson. “I was there like, floating around. Everybody freaked out and then we were on our sides.”

The crash was a rude and startling awakening for passenger Daniel Carman.

“I was asleep, honestly. I woke up after I felt movement and I was sideways,” Carman said. 

CHP officers say the crash happened at about 5:45 a.m. Friday, a few miles north of the Highway 154 offramp.

“[The bus] veered off the road, collided with a tree and went over the side, overturning on its side,” said officer David Medina.

CHP investigators say dense fog caused poor visibility in the area at the time of the crash but they are still looking into what exactly caused the woman driving the bus to lose control.

Seven people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

“All passengers were able to get out,” said officer Media. “Injuries consistent with cuts, bruises and pain.”

Meanwhile, passengers like Carman say they are thankful to be okay after what could have been much worse.

“I’m still just a little shaken up,” said Carman. “It was definitely lucky, I would say.”

Another bus took the uninjured passengers to the Santa Barbara train station.


KSBY Photo


(UPDATE: 7:30 a.m.) – Santa Barbara County Fire responded to a bus crash early Friday morning.

Fire officials say the crash happened at around 5:45 a.m. south of Los Alamos.

The bus was traveling southbound on Highway 101 and lost control near the Alisos Canyon Road off-ramp causing it to crash and roll off the road, according to public information officer Dave Zaniboni.

Officials say the bus was traveling with 24 passengers from Northern California and was headed to the Santa Barbara train station.

Fire crews say seven people suffered minor injuries and were transported to local hospitals. The female driver of the bus was not injured.

No road closures were put into place.

CHP is investigating the cause of the crash.

ORIGINAL STORY: California highway patrol responds to a bus crash on southbound Highway 101 near the Alisos Canyon off-ramp.

CHP says units are responding to the scene, and have confirmed it is a single vehicle crash involving a bus.

The crash happened Friday at around 5:45 a.m

Officials say they are waiting to hear back from the bus company to confirm the number of occupants on the bus.

There is no word on possible road closures.

According to the California highway patrol incident page, there is at least one minor injury involved.

We have a KSBY news crew on the way to the scene.

This is a developing story and will be updated when new information becomes available.