Although authorities have not released the names of the passengers who were killed in the bus crash that occurred in a rural area of California in Soledad, it is known that they were tourists from France.
The bus driver, John Egnew, 69, of Corona, California, also was killed, according to the Monterey County Coroner’s office.
According to media reports, a group of 34 French tourists were on board for an eight-day tour of the wine country in northern California, heading from San Francisco and making several stops before scheduled to end in Los Angeles. A Canadian tour guide also was on the bus as well as the bus driver.
Three of the people reportedly were killed on the scene and another person died in the hospital. The driver also later died. Another person is said to remain hospitalized in critical condition, according to Monterey County officials. The other passengers who were injured reportedly are in stable condition in 10 hospitals in the area. Four of the injured were younger than 18 years old, officials there said.
Jacques de Noray of the French consulate told the press that the French citizens were from across France – Paris, Bordeaux and Marseille – on a one-week trip through California that had already made stops in Monterey and Carmel before the crash.
Associated Press is reporting that a representative from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that federal transportation officials plan to do a full review of motor coach safety. It is not known whether the bus involved in this accident was equipped with seat belts.