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Metro bus driver dies after collision with tow truck downtown

Disasters and AccidentsLA MetroLos Angeles Fire Department

The driver of a Metro bus died Wednesday morning after an apparently speeding tow truck smashed into it at 5th and Broadway downtown, authorities said.

"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," said Dave Sotero of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the bus operator’s family and friends during this difficult time. A thorough investigation of the accident is underway."

The name of the driver, a 35-year-old woman, will be released after her family is notified, officials said.

The crash occurred shortly before 5:10 a.m. when the speeding tow truck ran a red light and collided head-on with the bus, said LAPD Sgt. Rudy Lopez.

The collision sent the tow truck careening into a 7-Eleven store, injuring a clerk working there. The employee was treated at the scene. The storefront was “completely destroyed,” Lopez said.

Both drivers had to be removed from their vehicles with the Jaws of Life, a Los Angeles Fire Department official said.

The tow truck driver was rushed to the hospital and was listed in serious condition. There were no passengers on the bus at the time of the crash, officials said.

TV news video showed the mangled front of the bus and the tow truck’s cab pancaked.

A building inspector was expected to check the integrity of the building where the truck crashed, officials said.

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Joseph.serna@latimes.com

@josephserna

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Disasters and AccidentsLA MetroLos Angeles Fire Department
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