Driver in Deadly Tour Bus Crash Is Hardworking: Family | NBC Bay Area
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Driver in Deadly Tour Bus Crash Is Hardworking: Family

"When he got tired, he would tell the other driver to take over," his granddaughter said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A surviving passenger of the fatal bus crash in Merced believes another vehicle may have caused the bus to swerve. Patrick Healy reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016. (Published Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016)

    Family members of the man behind the wheel of a tour bus that crashed in central California Tuesday, killing four people, say he was distraught over the recent death of his wife and had not been sleeping well, but insist he would not have driven if he was tired.

    Relatives on Tuesday comforted one another inside a small Los Angeles apartment, where Mario David Vasquez lives with several members of his extended family, whom he supports financially.

    They describe the 57-year-old badly injured in the crash as a hardworking man who rarely took a day off, but they insist he would not have driven if he was too tired.

    "He was very responsible," said Vasquez's granddaughter, Denise Menjivar. "When he got tired, he would tell the other driver to take over because he knew it was important for him to come home."

    According to Officer Moises Onsurez of the California Highway Patrol, the bus departed from Mexico, made a stop in Los Angeles Monday night and was on its way to Sacramento, when it crashed into a sign on the highway. Four people were killed and over a dozen others were injured, including Vazquez.

    Authorities inititally said five people died in the crash, but later revised that figure.

    Vazquez suffered "major" injuries. He recently lost his wife of 25 years to cancer, and family members are hoping and praying they don't lose him as well.

    Relatives say Vazquez has worked as a bus driver for many years, carefully inspected the bus before each trip and had recently received a raise for doing a good job.

    The company that operated the bus, is Auto Buses Coordinados USA, according to DMV records. Calls to the comapny were not returned Tuesday.

    Editor's note: This story has been updated from its original version to reflect new information about the number of people killed.