Semitruck crash on Panama Road leaves woman dead

Semitruck crash on Panama Road leaves woman dead
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- The driver of a big rig was desperately braking, trying to stop his semi to keep it from slamming into the rear of a Greenfield School district bus loaded with children that was stopped on Panama Road waiting to turn left on to Caminos Street.

The school bus driver was being attentive to her mirrors and realized the big rig was not going to stop in time.

"She aborted the left turn attempt continued eastbound and pulled off to the shoulder," said California Highway Patrol Sgt. Layne Logan.

The school bus was not hit. But, the big rig jackknifed, and it hit a an oncoming Chevy Silverado pickup. The impact killed the driver of the pickup, identified as 49-year-old Rosa Maria Ozuna, of Bakersfield.

The CHP said two passengers in the pickup, 21-year-old Diana Rojas and 4-year-old Irene Jimenez, suffered only minor injures. Rojas was wearing a seat belt, and Jimenez was restrained in a car seat.

The driver of the big rig, 22-year-old Juan Manuel Badillo, of Shafter, was not physically hurt but was visibly shaken and upset at the scene.

Officers urge drivers to be extra cautious when making left turns or passing on two lane roads, such as Panama Road. Be attentive to vehicles approaching from the rear who may not see someone that is stopped on the road waiting to make a left turn.

In this case, a heads-up school bus driver was able to avoid serious injury to students on her bus.

"If this bus driver hadn't been attentive it could have been a lot worse," said Sgt. Logan.