MTA Bus Driver Killed in Downtown L.A. Crash Identified
LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — The investigation continued on Thursday into a deadly crash in downtown Los Angeles that claimed the life of a Metro bus driver.
The crash between an MTA bus and a tow truck was reported just after 5 a.m. on Wednesday at 457 S. Broadway, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Both the driver of the bus and the tow truck driver had to be extricated from their vehicles, fire officials said.
The bus driver was transported to the hospital in critical condition, where she later died.
She was identified as 47-year-old Olivia Gamboa, a 13-year Metro veteran and a wife, mother and grandmother.
No one was else was on the bus at the time of the crash, MTA Spokesperson Luis Inzunza said.
The tow-truck driver, described as a 30-year-old man, was taken to the hospital in serious condition.
Gamboa was trying to make a left-hand turn from 5th Street onto Broadway, according to investigators.
The tow truck driver was allegedly speeding and drove through a red light, witnesses said.
The two vehicles collided head-on, sending the tow truck spinning into a 7-Eleven store. A store employee suffered minor injuries.
The truck also sheared off a fire hydrant. Firefighters were able to turn off the water quickly.
Investigators said they were reviewing surveillance video in the case.
Meantime, friends, relatives and co-workers remembered Gamboa as very friendly and family-oriented.
“She was a very beautiful woman, both inside and out. She had a beautiful heart,” one co-worker said.
Gamboa’s husband was also a Metro employee, and her daughter had apparently landed a job with the agency recently.
“Metro is saddened to learn of the passing of one of our family members this morning as a result of a horrific accident in downtown Los Angeles,” Metro officials said in a statement.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the bus operator’s family and friends during this difficult time,” the statement said. “A thorough investigation of the accident is underway.”