Monday, January 21, 2008

Transit Bus Cameras Capture Driver Killed in Bus Collision

A 25-year-old woman was killed Friday morning when a Santa Clarita city bus carrying students collided with the vehicle she was driving in the Stevenson Ranch area, officials said. Four people on the bus were injured.

Janine M. Doughlin was not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. She was from Stevenson Ranch.

The accident took place about 8 a.m. when Doughlin was trying to turn left from Constitution Avenue onto The Old Road, officials said.

Doughlin's Toyota Camry was struck as the bus, traveling south on The Old Road, passed through the intersection at about 40 mph, said Officer John Lutz of the California Highway Patrol in Newhall. The intersection has a traffic signal, he said.

The bus was carrying students to school, said CHP Sgt. Gretchen Jacobs. Three bus passengers and the bus driver suffered minor injuries, Lutz said.

The driver, David J. Delape, 49, of Rosamond, and one youth were taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital for treatment. The two other injured passengers were treated at the scene and released. The bus was carrying 19 passengers, Lutz said.

CHP officers closed The Old Road for several hours after the crash.

Santa Clarita city buses have video cameras onboard, said Gail Ortiz, a spokeswoman for the city, and officials plan to use that recording in their investigation.

"We have a really good safety record," Ortiz said.

Delape has worked for the city transit system since October, meets all safety training regulations and has 10 years' experience driving city buses, Santa Clarita officials said. On Friday he was driving his regular route.

Ortiz estimated that the passengers were ages 12 to 15. A couple of thousand junior high and high school students ride public buses to area schools, city spokeswoman Alisha Celestine said.