A transient has been charged with murder for allegedly stabbing a Greyhound bus driver in the neck with a pair of scissors, causing a crash that killed two passengers.
The bus, which was taking 50 passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco, flipped onto its side and slid into a cotton field near Fresno.
The suspect, Arturo Martinez, aged 27, was held on two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. Authorities said they did not know of any motive.
“He has told us several stories about why he did what he did,” sheriff's lieutenant Margaret Mims said today.
She said authorities were checking to see whether drugs, alcohol or mental problems played a part in the attack.
“It happened very quickly. He immediately stabbed the driver, too quickly for the passengers to take action on their own,” Mims said. She said the driver “struggled, tried to defend himself and lost control of the bus.”
Two women were crushed to death, police said. Officers caught Martinez as he tried to run away.
Almost a year ago, on October 3, 2001, a passenger on a Greyhound bus in Tennessee cut the driver’s throat, causing a crash that killed seven people.
Two weeks later, passengers on a Greyhound bus in Utah helped thwart an alleged hijacker.
And in November, a Greyhound passenger angry that he was not allowed to smoke scuffled with a driver in Arizona, causing a crash that injured 33.