Metro bus driver killed in downtown crash*

Police say the driver of a flat-bed tow truck was speeding about 5 a.m. this morning when he smacked head-on into a Metro bus at Broadway and 5th Street. The Metro driver, who was 47, had to be extracted from the wreckage with the Jaws of Life and died at a hospital. She was identified by Metro as Olivia Gamboa, a 13-year-veteran from Montebello. Her husband and daughter also drive buses for Metro.

The tow-truck driver, who also had to be rescued, is at a hospital in serious condition. The tow truck careened into the 7-11 store at the corner, injuring an employee and possibly doing structural damage to the building. A fire hydrant was sheared off as well. The bus carried no passengers at the time of the crash.

From the MTA:

It is with much sadness that Metro announces the passing this morning of long-time bus operator Olivia Gamboa, 47, who was killed when her bus was struck by a tow truck in downtown Los Angeles.

Olivia had worked for Metro for 13 years. Her husband and her daughter are also Metro bus operators.

The Gamboas live in Montebello. Co-workers recalled Olivia as quiet, family-oriented and very well liked by both passengers and colleagues.

The bus that Olivia was driving was struck by a flatbed tow truck at the intersection of 5th and Broadway shortly after 5 a.m. shortly after the bus went into service on Line 18. There were no passengers on board the bus at the time. The accident is under investigation.

Updated post

Photo by Helen Ly/View From a Loft

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