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Transit bus involved in Tracy wildfire accident

The Stanislaus Regional Transit Authority (StanRTA) reported over the weekend that one of its buses was involved in the Corral Hollow wildfire incident early Saturday evening, June 1. Officials confirmed that there were no injuries to any passengers or to the driver.

The incident occurred when the wildfire, which was actively spreading in the Corral Hollow area on Saturday, began to cause an extreme amount of smoke and fire that forced vehicles on the highway to reverse course and drive westbound. When she had clearance, the StanRTA driver attempted to turn the bus around, but the wheels got stuck on the highway median and caused it to stall. Soon after, the fire reached the rear of the bus and flames made contact.

According to information released by StanRTA officials, as soon as the driver saw the threat approaching the bus, she immediately evacuated all passengers onboard and, working all together, helped to get the passengers to safety on the north side of the highway where there was no smoke or fire. Thanks to the swift response from the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the fire on the bus was quickly extinguished and the passengers and driver were all escorted away from any danger.

“We are incredibly grateful to our driver for her composure and professionalism during this incident as well as to our passengers who all worked together in an extremely stressful moment,” said Adam Barth, CEO of Stanislaus Regional Transit Authority. “Additionally, we thank the CHP for their quick action to ensure the safety of our passengers and driver.”

The bus was being held at a tow yard in Tracy until its release back to StanRTA. After its return, the maintenance team was to assess the extent of the damage and then carry out the necessary repairs promptly to return the vehicle to service.

The Stanislaus Regional Transit Authority is a joint powers agency whose members are the City of Modesto and the County of Stanislaus, and which was created to consolidate transit services countywide with the exception of the City of Turlock.

The Tracy area fire blackened an estimated 14,000 acres and hampered traffic flow through the area at a couple of different times over the weekend.