California Highway Patrol officer Fred Smith sizes up a Monte Vista Christian School bus Monday morning that veered off of Casserly Road and tore out a power pole carrying 21,000-volt lines. The bus also mashed over a tree before coming to a rest in a ravine. CHP officer Sam Courtney said all 34 students and the driver were not hurt in the 7:50 a.m. crash. Courtney said the bus driver, who was traveling northbound on Casserly Road, reportedly veered off the road to avoid a white SUV that was traveling southbound on Casserly Road and somehow drifted into the path of the bus. The driver of the SUV allegedly drove off. Officials had to close Casserly Road at Wheelock Road and just south of the crash site to allow a crew from Pacific Gas and Electric and other utility companies to right the lines and replace the pole. Courtney said the road would remain closed all day. The incident is still under investigation.

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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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