On April 23, 2019, at approximately 1435 hours, CHP dispatch was advised of a Palo Verde Union School District bus which had fallen into a sink hole. The school bus was occupied by the driver and 47 students. Prior to CHP arrival, the driver, Richard Howard, had all the students exit the bus for their safety. Once CHP personnel arrived on scene, it was determined the school bus was traveling westbound on Avenue 196, east of Road 96. The driver stopped for the posted stop sign. Once the bus was stopped, the ground underneath the right rear wheel gave way. The right rear wheel sunk into the ground causing the bus to lean in a northerly direction.
Officer Popovich, #19349, arrived on scene and took over incident command. It was determined no passengers were injured as a result of this incident. The bus was lifted out of the sink hole and determined to have not sustained any damage as a result of this incident.
Tulare County Roads personnel arrived on scene and assessed the roadway. Tulare County Roads closed the westbound lane of Avenue 196, at Road 96 for repairs. The bus was driven from the scene back to the bus yard. All occupants of the bus were placed on another bus. A
crash report was created to document the incident.
Any persons with questions regarding this incident can direct them to Officer Steven Popovich, Sergeant Mike Donnelly, or Acting Lieutenant Mike Wolfe at the Visalia Area CHP Office at (559) 734-6767.