School Bus Driver Seriously Hurt in Accident
Driver Pinned in Wreckage Until Rescue
A bus driver for the Righetti School District was seriously hurt when the bus she was driving was struck by equipment protruding from a fertilizer spreading vehicle.
Yolana Zepeda, 44, was driving students to school on Foxen Canyon Road when her bus was struck. Investigators with the California Highway Patrol found a truck used to spray fertilizer on crops had a piece of gear extended into the oncoming lane, which tore through the bus' windshield and struck the driver's face.
Zepeda was trapped inside the bus for about an hour as rescue workers extricated her. The driver sustained severe injuries to her face.
Three teen girls on board, two 15-year-olds and a 14-year-old, were taken to the hospital. Seven other children were looked over by paramedics but did not require further treatment.
Earlier reports indicated higher numbers of students on the bus, but the California Highway Patrol has assured NewsChannel 3 the total number of people on the bus was 11.
Zepeda lost consciousness after the bus was struck. It careened up an embankment, crossed back over the road and crashed into a fence and tree. Highway Patrol said she was conscious when firefighters were cutting her out of the bus.
Highway Patrol says the driver of the farm truck was 25-year-old Hugo Medina. They are determining whether he will face any charges.
Santa Barbara County Fire, California Highway Patrol, Santa Maria Fire, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's, and AMR all responded, along with a helicopter.
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