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Tour Bus Crash Claims Local Victim: Fred B. Richardson Was Driving Pickup

Richardson, identified by the coroner as a resident of Mentone, was driving the blue Ford pickup truck that was struck by the tour bus on state Route 38 below the mouth of Mill Creek Canyon just after 6:30 p.m. Feb. 3.

An eighth person died Wednesday morning as a result of Sunday night's tour bus collision east of Mentone and Redlands, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Fred B. Richardson, 72, identified by the coroner as a resident of Mentone, succumbed to his injuries at Loma Linda University Medical Center at 6:39 a.m. Feb. 6, CHP Officer Mario Lopez said in a statement.

Richardson was driving the blue Ford pickup truck that was struck by the tour bus on state Route 38 below the mouth of Mill Creek Canyon just after 6:30 p.m. Feb. 3, Lopez said.

"The California Highway Patrol is in the process of inspecting the tour bus involved in Sunday's collision," Lopez said. "The CHP's Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team will perform an extensive bumper to bumper inspection on the tour bus to determine if mechanical failure contributed to the collision."

All major parts including the brakes, engine components, steering, driver controls and suspension components will be carefully examined by MAIT investigators, Lopez said.

"The inspection will take several days and results of the inspection will be documented on the investigation report," Lopez said. "The overall investigation into the exact cause of the collision is expected to last several months."

The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the crash. Wreckage of the bus, Richardson's pickup and a Saturn sedan involved in the crash are being scrutinized at a tow yard in Ontario.

The bus is registered to Scapadas Magicas LLC of National City, Lopez said before sunrise Monday at a road block south of the crash scene on the 38.

"The CHP is asking for the public's help in this investigation," Lopez siad. "If anyone witnessed the collision on SR-38, you are asked to call the CHP at (909) 806-2400."

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Vito Spago February 06, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Sad. This guy had the perfect life living in a century old stone house in Mentone. Giving citations is not good enough. Impound all the busses that fail inspection and do not release them until you see them repaired. I wonder what other vehicles are like this but do not show a problem because they are not in the mountains.
Washy February 06, 2013 at 11:17 PM
RIP Fred! You were a light on the world and memory will continue to shine that light!

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