Bus crashes into trees, stop sign | VailDaily.com

Bus crashes into trees, stop sign

Christine Ina Casillas

An ECO Transit bus crashed into a tree and knocked down a stop sign Monday after being sideswiped by a car on U.S. Highway 6 in Eagle-Vail.

“A bus just wrecked in front of the restaurant,” said Steve Negler, co-owner of Ti Amo Restaurant. “A car pulled out in front of it, and it took out a tree and the stop sign. The front trees are pretty messed up.”

The tree was the only casualty.

Passengers and the driver who were on the bus walked away uninjured.

“Everybody seemed pretty shaken up,” Negler said, “But they all seem OK. They’re walking in and off the bus.”

Two snowboarders jumped on their snowboards and played in the fresh snow until the next bus pulled up shortly after the accident.

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At around 10:30 a.m., a female driver traveling eastbound to Vail on Highway 6 stopped suddenly, making a quick right-hand turn into the business district. She slammed into the bus next to her.

“She went in front of me and she never showed me her turn signal,” said bus driver Manual Fierro. “This time of year, I hate this. I do my best to try and save my passengers’ lives.”

No injuries were reported.

Fierro and his passengers said they were shaken up but none were injured. One passenger said he was angry that the accident made him late for work.

“This is why I take the bus – to stay away from drivers like this,” said Jason Slabaugh, a passenger. “I was just on my way to work this morning, and my bus crashed.”

Slabaugh said he prefers the bus, especially because of the icy conditions.

Fierro has been a bus driver for two years and said he had never been in an accident until Monday.

“Everybody’s pretty shaken up,” Fierro said. “I don’t know who’s going to drive this bus, but it’s not going to be me.”

Christine Ina Casillas can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607 or at ccasillas@vaildaily.com.