A Veterans Affairs bus on its way to Modesto Wednesday morning with one passenger from Sonora was sideswiped by a Ford Explorer on Highway 108 at about 5:40 a.m.
California Highway Patrol Office Brian Bowman said the driver of the 2016 Bluebird 30-seat VA bus, and the passenger, William Moss, 64, were uninjured.
VA Public Information Officer Michael Hill-Jackson confirmed that Moss was a veteran. He said he could not provide information about Moss’ military service.
Bowman said the bus was driven by Terry Aleshire, 53, of Oakland, westbound on Highway 108, just west of the Mono Way onramp.
Camron McFadden, 22, Columbia, was driving a 1991 Ford Explorer eastbound on Highway 108, when his vehicle collided with the side of the bus. McFadden complained of headache after the accident but was otherwise uninjured, Bowman said.
The SUV rotated counterclockwise behind the rear of the bus and rolled over its right side. It came to rest on the north shoulder of Highway 108.
Bowman said Moss was “a little shaken up, but uninjured.” He was seated in the front row of the bus on the right side.
Hill-Jackson said the VA bus arrives every morning at 5:30 a.m. at the VA Sonora Clinic on 13663 Mono Way in Sonora to pick up veterans who will be taken to medical facilities in Modesto, Livermore and the Bay Area.
The vehicle involved in accident was damaged and has been temporarily removed from service, he said.
The bus is approximately the size of an average school bus. The bus is owned by the VA, a federal agency that provides healthcare to military veterans.
The bus was towed and a new bus dispatched to pick up Moss, Hill-Jackson added.
He said service to the VA Sonora Clinic would not be interrupted because the accident.
“Even though we had to take the bus out of rotation, we have already replaced it and have ensured that our services will still be running and our veterans will be picked up on the normal route,” he said.
The VA bus service is provided twice a day, at morning and night, Hill-Jackson said.
The bus originates in Modesto and departs from Sonora to multiple stops in Modesto and then to Livermore. Additional transportation is provided from Livermore to larger VA campuses for patients in need of special or more extensive services.