Tour bus crash: Death toll increases to 8; 911 calls released


A coroner's official said 72-year-old Fred Bailey Richardson of San Bernardino died Wednesday morning at Loma Linda University Medical Center. Richardson was driving a landscaping service truck that was struck by the out-of-control bus Sunday night.

The other seven fatalities were people who died at the scene.

"Everyone in this community is going to miss Fred ever so much," said Jan Fagerstedt, Richardson's older sister. "It's hard to go through something like that, but I just miss my brother so."

Investigators are focusing on the brakes to help determine the exact cause of the accident. The National Transportation Safety Board was in the San Diego-area on Tuesday, interviewing the bus company owner and employees. Investigators are also looking at road conditions and possible driver error or fatigue that could have played a role in the crash. The investigation could take months to complete.

The driver reportedly told investigators he had brake problems as the bus, carrying Tijuana vacationers, headed down Highway 38 from Big Bear.

The bus hit a sedan and flipped before slamming into the oncoming pickup truck hauling a trailer. Eleven of the injured remain hospitalized.

Newly released 911 recordings shed light on what those aboard the bus experienced as the tour bus careened out of control as it made its way down the mountain.

California Highway Patrol investigators ask anyone who witnessed the accident and may have any information to give them a call at (909) 806-2400.

Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.