OAKHURST – A tour bus driver is facing felony charges for releasing raw sewage from his charter service vehicle in an Oakhurst parking lot.
Witnesses to the crime described the bus, similar to the one pictured below, California License Plate CP93382.
The Sheriff’s Office is reporting that a run of the license plate comes back to a company out of Southern California — Screamline Investment Corporation, based in Commerce, California.
According to statements, the driver of the charter bus disembarked his 22 passengers in the Raley’s Shopping Center before driving across the street, parking near the entrance of the U.S Post Office, where he reportedly emptied his vehicle’s waste tank into a storm drain that feeds into the Fresno River.
Information about the unleashing of sewage was phoned into the Madera County Sheriff’s Office shortly after 9 a.m. by postmaster Holly Baker, after the bus had already taken off.
Cal Fire, Madera County Fire Department, as well as officers with Environmental Health and the Department of Fish & Wildlife were immediately advised and are investigating.
Deputies also notified neighboring law enforcement agencies, Yosemite National Park officials, as well as the charter company, which has reportedly agreed to cover the cost of the cleanup. That cost is not known at this time, however, Hazmat officials say they do not believe any of the raw sewage was able to make it to the river.
A portion of the parking lot at the Oakhurst Post Office had been cordoned off as officials conducted their investigation, but reports are that it is now clear, and the post office remains open for business.
The driver, who was later located in Yosemite National Park along with his bus, has made arrangements to meet with sheriff’s deputies and be questioned about the incident.
The driver could face up to three years behind bars and a fine of $10,000.