The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Driver in California tour bus crash had earlier accident

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SOLEDAD, Calif. - Police reports show the driver of a tour bus that crashed in central California, killing himself and four others, struck a woman in a Las Vegas crosswalk a little more than three years ago.

The Monterey County Coroner's office on Wednesday identified the bus driver as 69-year-old John Egnew of Corona, Calif. Cmdr. Scott Ragan says Egnew died of head and neck injuries after he was thrown from the bus, which overturned Tuesday on a freeway overpass in Soledad.

A total of 36 people were on board, including 34 French tourists, their Canadian tour guide and the driver.

The tour guide, a 28-year-old woman from Montreal, was among those injured but a spokeswoman at Watsonville Community Hospital said early Wednesday she had been discharged.

Cindy Weigelt would not discuss the woman's injuries but said she was in a hotel and well enough to return home.

"When I left her she was in the hotel sending an email," Weigelt told The Canadian Press.

In the 2005 accident, Egnew admitted not seeing 71-year-old Joan Smith of Delton, Mich., before the bus he was driving hit her.

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