Charges filed in tour bus wash incident

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

DOLAN SPRINGS, Ariz. -- The driver of a tour bus that got swept away in a flooded wash last month is facing a criminal traffic violation of reckless driving, according to a spokeswoman for the Mohave County Sheriff's Office.

The incident occurred on Sunday, July 28 when Joseph Hernandez Razon, 52, of Las Vegas, Nevada, drove a tour bus through a flooded wash at milepost 16 on Pierce Ferry Road.

The bus got swept away by the fast moving rain runoff. The bus was carried approximately four-tenths of a mile down the wash where it came to a rest on a 45 degree angle.

Thirty-three people were on the bus and were able to escape through the emergency exits. 

No fatalities or injuries were reported. 

MCSO has attempted to contact Razon by phone with the bus company, but the bus company said he is currently on leave. 

Razon has been summoned to the Kingman Justice Court on September 10 at 10:00 a.m.

Upon conviction of this reckless driving, MCSO intends to pursue the stupid motorist law for reimbursement expenses for the agencies involved, according to Mohave County sheriff's spokeswoman Trish Carter.

Razon had taken the tourists to the Hualapai reservation on the Grand Canyon's west rim, where a horseshoe-shaped glass bridge juts out from the canyon's walls. The company runs multiple tour buses per day to the popular tourist destination.

The drive to and from Las Vegas is about 125 miles, and takes 2 1/2 hours over paved and dirt roads.

The numerous washes, or dry desert riverbeds, in the area flooded so quickly that county officials didn't have time to put up temporary signs warning of immediate danger, Mohave County Public Works director Steve Latoski said.

Permanent signs to and from the turnoff to the Grand Canyon Skywalk on Pierce Ferry Road warn drivers that washes may become flooded, he said.

The National Weather Service had issued a flash flood warning just before noon Sunday for Arizona's Mohave County because of thunderstorms in the area, meteorologist Chris Stumpf in Las Vegas said. The warning was extended twice, before it was allowed to expire at 4:15 p.m.

Tour bus flips over in wash amid Ariz. rain storm

The Associated Press contributed to this report