Driver reportedly fell asleep in MVCS school crash

WATSONVILLE--California Highway Patrol officer Fred Smith sizes up a Monte Vista Cristian School bus the ended up in a drainage ditch March 23 with 34 students aboard.

CHP officer Trista Drake said, based on a dashboard camera, it was confirmed that the driver, Francisco Solano-Valenzuela, 45, fell asleep while driving the bus south on Casserly Road.

CHP officer Sam Courtney said Solano-Valenzuela initially said he veered off the road to avoid a white SUV that cut him off. The bus tore out a power pole carrying 21,000-volt lines and a tree.

No injuries were reported. Drake said Solano-Valenzuel will be charged with child endangerment and giving false information to a peace officer.

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