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Quinton Joey Watts, a 52-year old bus driver, has been charged with a felony DUI following a fatal crash that killed 8 and injured 35 other passengers. The bus, which was heading for a Northern Californian casino, crashed on an isolated road in Williams, California, roughly 60 miles north of Sacramento.

While no evidence of alcohol was found on the bus at the scene of the accident, the California Highway Patrol is investigating whether Watts was using prescription or illicit drugs while driving.

Details of the Accident

About 10 miles away from its destination, the Colusa Casino Resort, the charter bus drifted outside of its lane for a half a mile, after which Watts overcorrected his steering and swerved to try to get back in his lane.

The overcorrection caused the bus to roll and end up in a nearby ditch, right side up. Although no other cars were involved in this accident, the rolling of the bus caused the roof to collapse, all of the windows to be shattered, and the bus to be facing the opposite direction. Additionally, some of the passengers were ejected from the bus during the fatal crash.

Investigation Continues

Robert Kays, a spokesperson for the CHP, has stated that, in addition to investigating the presence of alcohol and narcotics on the bus/in Watts’ system, authorities are also looking into the licensing of the bus itself. Although the police would not divulge the name of the bus charter company, they said that both the Texas license plate on the bus and its registration were invalid.

Currently, victims of the crash are being treated at local area hospitals, including the Colusa Regional Medical Center, the Enloe Medical Center and the UC Davis Medical Center. Some remain in serious to critical condition, which means that Watts can be charged with further counts of manslaughter should any of these victims not survive treatment.

(Source: CNN, KTVU)

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