Bus driver accused of spilling hazardous waste down Oakhurst storm drain

A tour bus driver is facing felony charges for releasing raw sewage from his charter bus in the Von’s shopping center Monday morning.

The bus is registered to Screamline Investment Corporation, based in Commerce, Calif.

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 the 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., after the bus had left the parking lot.

Cal Fire, Madera County Fire Department, as well as officers with Madera County Environmental Health and the Department of Fish & Wildlife were immediately advised and are investigating the incident.

Deputies also notified neighboring law enforcement agencies, Yosemite National Park Officials, as well as the bus company, which has reportedly agreed to cover the cost of the cleanup.

The cost of the cleanup is not known at this hour. However, Hazmat Officials say they do not believe any of the raw sewage was able to make it to the river.

The Penal Code reads that any person who knowingly causes any hazardous substance to be deposited into or upon any road, street, highway ... or upon the land of another, without the permission of the owner, or into the waters of this state is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year or by imprisonment for a term of 16 months, two years, or three years, or by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $10,000, or by both the fine and imprisonment.