None injured in bus crash
On Saturday, July 23 at 8:50 p.m., a bus owned and operated by Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (MMSA) rolled through the intersection of Minaret Road and Main Street. There was no driver on board, nor were there any passengers. Mark Brownlie, Chief Operating Officer for Mammoth Mountain, told The Sheet that MMSA is extremely thankful that no injuries were sustained in the accident and that no property other than the bus was damaged. The bus veered off the road onto the side of Minaret Rd. after passing through the intersection.
Brownlie said that the bus driver stopped the bus at the after an open door alarm went off. According to Brownlie, the bus has a safety feature that prevents the breaks from being disengaged until all doors are closed and the alarm turns off. The alarm sensor indicated that the back door was not closed, so the driver stopped the vehicle, believing it was parked, and exited to close the door. Once the door closed, the automatic breaking system disengaged. Had the driver engaged the parking break, the vehicle would have remained parked after the door shut.
“Mammoth Lakes Police Department responded to the incident. We did a thorough investigation through Mammoth Mountain and determined that this was an accident,” Brownlie told The Sheet. He added that Mammoth Mountain removed the bus the following morning and took it back to their garage for minor repairs.
Brownlie emphasized that this was a human accident not a mechanical failure. He said that the driver involved is a competent mountain employee who simply made a mistake. One observer, who witnessed the event from Mammoth Brewing Company said that the bus rolled through a red light. “I’m just so glad that there was no one around and no traffic. I saw the bus stop, the driver got out… and then the next thing I knew, he was running after the bus.”