1 dead, 1 charged in party bus crash

LORTON, Va. (WUSA9) -- Three people remain at a hospital after a party bus crashed in Lorton, Va. this weekend. The bus was carrying 16 passengers plus the driver, 56-year-old Claude J. Mailloux of Jeffersonton, Va., when it flipped over on I-95. Nine of the bus occupants were ejected, police said.

Virginia State Police say 31-year-old Raphael Manuel Barrientos of Dumfries was a hit and run driver who caused a shuttle bus to overturn at 3 a.m. Sunday morning.

The group was heading southbound on 95 from D.C. to Woodbridge, Va. Surae Chinn talked with a victim's father, Pat Tierno.

"My son called me and said we were in a major accident. I said a car or what? He said no a party bus," said Tierno.

Pat Tierno's 32-year-old son and 15 of his friends had left a D.C. club. They were almost home traveling southbound on I-95 at Lorton Road.

Witnesses say they saw a white car speeding down I-95 when the two vehicles collided. The bus then ran off the side of the road, hit the guard rail and overturned.

"I guess when it hit the guard rail it went airborne. At the end of it, there was only two people on the bus him and another girl. The other kids were scattered throughout the ground. I know a lot of these kids. I coached baseball. They grew up together. He was banged up, I mean blood just everywhere on his head. They're all banged up. From broken bones to broken legs."

Tierno's son is in the emergency room with a broken nose and ribs, but one of his friends who was flown to the hospital later died.

"State police and everyone else said they're lucky, they're lucky they didn't all run a fatality. It was bad," said Tierno.

Witnesses led to the arrest of Barrientos.

"Witnesses were able to provide us with a license plate and we were able to track that vehicle down at a residence," Corinne Geller, Virginia State Police Spokesperson said. They found the car at 6:10 a.m. Sunday.

Police arrested the 31-year-old Dumfries man for felony hit and run. No additional charges have been placed. He is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

Tierno choked back tears and said, "It's going to, I mean it's going to be a long road, it's going to be a long road for these kids. The thing is we always preach to these kids, do the right thing. They did the right thing. They rented a bus. Yes, they wanted to go out but they rented a bus and this is what happened."

Police say two of the victims were flown from the scene to Inova Fairfax Hospital. One of them, 24-year-old David Alberto Sanchez of Woodbridge, Va., succumbed to his injuries later Sunday morning at the hospital, say police. The second person, who they did not identify, is still being treated for life-threatening injuries.

The driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, and one other passenger are being treated for serious, but non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

The remaining 13 passengers suffered minor injuries.


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