A 16-year-old Newman boy died Wednesday morning when his car hit a school bus on Crows Landing Road southeast of Ceres.
There were no children on the bus, which was from the East Valley Education Center in Oakdale, and the driver was uninjured.
The Stanislaus County coroner's office identified the driver of the Toyota Corolla as Alan Gerardo Bautista. He would have turned 17 in August.
The accident happened at 6:55 a.m., California Highway Patrol officer Eric Parsons said.
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Lisa Powers, 41, of Waterford was driving a 12-passenger bus south on Crows Landing near Taylor Road when she saw the Corolla approaching in the northbound lanes at about 55 mph, Parsons said. The car started to drift into the oncoming lane.
"She tried to slow down and get out of the way, but she couldn't and the vehicles collided," Parsons said.
East Valley serves Stanislaus County junior high and high school students with autism, Asperger's syndrome and emotional problems, said Vice Principal Luca Oliveri. Powers' route takes her to Patterson, then back through Turlock and Waterford.
Oliveri said Powers was shaken, but otherwise OK after the accident.
Parsons said there was no evidence to indicate why the car might have drifted. "Everything is just speculation at this point."
Alan was driving behind his mother, a teacher in Modesto. He planned to help her in her classroom before heading to rehearsal at the Youth Entertainment Stage Company in Modesto, where he was an active member, said his aunt, Socorro Garcia. The YES Company is in rehearsals for its summer production of "The Music Man."
"He was a very active boy," Garcia said. "He was full of life."
Alan, who was going to be a senior at Orestimba High School, had a 13-year-old brother and an 18-year-old sister, as well as numerous cousins in the Newman area, Garcia said.
"We had lots of plans (for him)," she said. "He wanted to act; he wanted to go to (California State University,) Northridge and do drama. His passion was drama."
Bee staff writer Patty Guerra can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2343.