Bus driver switched lanes before 2011 crash

Jessica Priest By Jessica Priest

Aug. 20, 2013 at 3:20 a.m.

Attorneys cross-examined on Tuesday morning the driver of a Valley Transit Company bus involved in a fatal wreck two summers ago.

The driver, Guadalupe Ruiz, testified in the second day of the trial of Larry Phillip Marceaux, a 32-year-old Louisiana man charged with criminal negligent homicide for the death of Juana Lopez-Perez, a passenger on the bus.

Ruiz switched to the inside lane at about 65 mph the night of May 11, 2011 a quarter mile before the U.S. Highway 77 South and Fleming Prairie Road intersection. He was just about to overtake a tractor-trailer to his right when Marceaux drove across the intersection, he said.

Marceaux was in a S10 truck towing another pickup and struck the area around the bus' front wheel. Lopez-Perez sat near the front of bus and died after the bus hit a utility pole with flashing lights, Ruiz said.

The state next called Department of Public Safety Trooper James Vinson, one of many who investigated the crash.

The trial will resume at 1 p.m. before district Judge Jack Marr. Then, Vinson will be cross-examined.



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