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School bus slides into highway embankment; no injuries reported

A Merced County School bus veered off Highway 99 and slid into embankment Friday morning as it entered Merced.

No children were in the bus at the time and the driver — the sole person in the bus — was not injured, according to the California Highway Patrol. “Not a lot of drama, it just tied up traffic,” said Chris Rodenburg, CHP traffic officer.

At about 8:15 a.m. Friday, driver Randy Valladao was headed southbound on Highway 99 when he suddenly came upon stopped traffic just south of Franklin Road, Rodenburg said: “He locked up his breaks and the bus veered off the road.”

The bus received minor damage to its bumper.

The CHP closed up the highway’s right lane as a tow truck removed the bus from the scene. Southbound traffic from Atwater to Merced remained slow for about an hour after the accident.