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.
Photo by Helen Ly/View From a Loft