In the Nation

Skid marks from the crashed tour bus are seen on State Route 38 north of Yucaipa, Calif.
Skid marks from the crashed tour bus are seen on State Route 38 north of Yucaipa, Calif. (REED SAXON / AP)
Posted: February 05, 2013

Bus lost brakes, passenger says

YUCAIPA, Calif. - A runaway bus careened down a mountain road without brakes and the driver called out to passengers to phone 911 before a crash with two other vehicles that killed seven people and injured dozens of others, a surviving passenger said Monday.

However, the pleas by the driver were futile because no one had cellphone reception in the rugged area, passenger Gerardo Barrientos, 28, said.

The bus was carrying a group from Tijuana, Mexico, and heading home from a trip to the Big Bear Lake area of the San Bernardino Mountains 80 miles east of Los Angeles when it crashed into a sedan and pickup truck around 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Records showed the company that operated the bus had failed more than a third of its federal vehicle safety inspections in the last two years.

Barrientos believed the bus reached speeds of 60 m.p.h. during the descent down the mountain that he estimated lasted five minutes.

"I saw many people dead. There are very, very horrendous images in my head, things I don't want to think about," he said.

- AP

4 found dead in Ga. apartment

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. - Police are investigating the slayings of two children and two adults as an apparent murder-suicide.

City spokeswoman Rosemary Taylor says authorities found the bodies of a man, woman, and two children - believed to be 10 and 5 years old - in a Johns Creek apartment Monday morning.

It was unclear Monday evening how long the people had been dead. Their identities and causes of death were not immediately released.

Police Chief Ed Densmore says authorities are investigating the slayings as a possible murder-suicide. - AP

Tips pour in on slain girl, 15

CHICAGO - Chicago police say they have been inundated with tips about the death of a 15-year-old girl who had just returned from performing at President Obama's inauguration, but police, activists, and ministers are still concerned that someone with valuable information might be holding out.

The reward for information about last week's slaying of Hadiya Pendleton has climbed to $40,000. But people may be afraid to come forward because they don't want to be thrust into the national media spotlight or because they are concerned for their own safety, police, activists, and ministers said.

Pendleton, a drum majorette, was killed in a park about a mile from Obama's home on the South Side.Police say the shooter hopped a fence, ran at a group of about a dozen young people, and opened fire. No arrests have been made. - AP

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