Bus crash survivor's son speaks out in Pasco on deadly Californi - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Bus crash survivor's son speaks out in Pasco on deadly California crash

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PASCO, WA - Breaking national news Tuesday morning really hit home for some in eastern Washington. A charter bus with 30 people on it crashed near Merced, California leaving five people dead. That bus should have arrived in Pasco at 4 p.m. Tuesday. 

Manuel Espinoza had tears in his eyes as he spoke with his mom on the phone just hours after the crash. She told him she has minor injuries, a lot of pain, and bad memories of the crash.

"He was trying to pass another vehicle and they wouldn't let him. So it swerved him off the road and that's when he hit a pole and it went through the middle of the bus," said Manuel's mother and survivor, Nakia Coliman. 

Very early in the morning, Manuel woke up to the worst kind of phone call.

"My mom had been in a terrible bus accident, they had crashed into a pole. She said it was really bad. Five people died," said Manuel.

California Highway Patrol called the crash a 'catastrophic event.' The speeding bus smashed into a pole on SR 99 just before 3:30 a.m. The pole went through the bus stopping at the first axle. Manuel's mom called her family soon after. 

"How she got that phone, a body had landed on her after the crash. The body was deceased. So that's all she had. That phone," said Manuel. At 6 a.m., he and his girlfriend went to the bus depot where the bus should have arrived. The couple was trying to figure out what to do, who to call, and where the surviving passengers were at.

"He didn't give us anything until now that we brought all these people. Just to get a number," said Manuel's girlfriend, Annalee Ramos. It took a media presence to even get a phone number. However no one answers that number. It goes to Autobuses Coordinados USA. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said the company has a "satisfactory" service record although there are 23 vehicle violations listed since 2014.