Friday, October 24, 2014 • 06:49
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Harrah's Rincon bus careens off Valley Center Road



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All photos by Michael Crane

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September 19, 2013
Eight people suffered injuries Thursday morning when a bus bound for Harrah's Rincon Hotel and Casino careened off Valley Center Road.

While heading east on Valley Center Road at about 9:30 a.m., passengers reported that the driver was driving too fast and began to lose control after passing the turn-off for Vesper Road. Five miles short of their destination, the bus — operated by Silver State Coach — collided into a fence following a curve in the road and came to rest in the front yard of a nearby residence which suffered no damage, according to the California Highway Patrol.

"He was swerving like a snake," said passenger Arthur Ponce.

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The driver and seven of the 15 passengers were transported to Palomar Hospital, one with a possibly broken leg. Another passenger was taken to Fallbrook. All aboard the bus were adults.

Passengers boarded the bus in Seal Beach Thursday morning at 7:15 a.m. and they were scheduled to arrive at the casino by 10 a.m. However, this driver has reportedly been known to drive fast and arrive early in the past.

"He was going fast all the way," said passenger Jim Desimas.

He added that he felt several times the bus might tip over

The cause of the incident remains under investigation. Authorities have not ruled out the possible role of alcohol or drugs in the crash.

Correction: An earlier version of this online story incorrectly spelled Palomar Hospital

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Michael Robledo