Mechanic killed repairing bus on freeway

SAN DIEGO — A 32-year-old mechanic from Ramona was killed when a car plowed into the broken-down school bus he was fixing alongside a rain-drenched freeway Thursday.

A 2005 Nissan Altima veered off the Interstate 805 in North Park and struck the San Diego Unified School District bus from behind shortly before 7 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.  The mechanic was trapped under the hood for half an hour until firefighters pried it open.

The crash left the motorist, a 41-year-old woman, seriously hurt and the repairman gravely injured and wedged in the engine compartment of the bus, CHP public-affairs Officer Art Athans said.

MECHANIC DIES IN BUS CRASH

Medics took both to a hospital, where the mechanic was later pronounced dead. His name was withheld pending notification of his family.

The mechanic, a father of three, was described as a man always willing to help a friend in trouble.

“It really messes me up, I didn’t know it was him,” co-worker Phil Otway said.  “I’m surprised that he passed away, it’s really shaken me up.”

“For goodness sake, people need to slow down when the roads are slick,” said Otway.  “It’s not worth it because now she is going to have to live with this for the rest of her life. With Christmas just right around the corner, this is not a way to bring in the holiday.”