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Bus driver who was under the influence of meth during 2019 crash receives maximum sentence

laura gish
Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office
Laura Mae Gish

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- A woman who was under the influence of methamphetamine when the bus she was driving crashed and injured multiple people near Los Alamos in 2019 has received the maximum sentence under the law.

On Thursday, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced the sentencing of Laura Mae Gish, 52.

Gish was sentenced to seven years in prison, the maximum sentence under the law.

Gish previously pled guilty to all charges resulting from the bus crash that happened on January 18, 2019.

Gish, a bus driver for the American Star Tours, was driving a 25-passenger Volvo bus southbound on Highway 101 when she fell asleep. The bus drifted off the road, hit a tree and rolled over onto its side. Multiple people were hurt in the crash.

It was later determined that at the time of the crash, she was under the influence of methamphetamine.

Gish pled guilty to the felony charge of driving under the influence of drugs causing injury and the misdemeanor possession of methamphetamine. 

Gish also admitted to the allegations that she caused injury to multiple victims and caused great bodily injury to one victim.

Dudley gave the following statement on the end of this case:

“Deputy District Attorney Madison Whitmore did an excellent job holding this driver accountable for her criminal actions.  People who step on to a bus must feel confident and trust that their professional driver will make their safety paramount.”

Joyce E. Dudley, Santa Barbara County District Attorney
Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Julia Nguyen


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