Lodi Unified School District officials are investigating how and why a school bus became trapped under a railroad crossing gate.
A video circulated on social media Monday shows LUSD’s bus 77 stopped at some railroad tracks in Lodi. However, the video shows the crossing gate resting on the roof of the bus just over the front where the driver sits.
A southbound train can then be seen traveling along the tracks but not striking the bus. A message to the resident who filmed the incident was not returned.
According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, all vehicles must stop before they cross train tracks, including school buses. In addition, vehicles must stop at least 15 feet, but no more than 50 feet, from a railroad track when the crossing gates are active.
All vehicles must not try to go under the gates when they are lowering, according to the DMV.
Chelsea Vongehr, spokeswoman for the district, said the incident happened at about 8 a.m. at the Lodi Avenue railroad crossing. She said the driver was an LUSD employee and not a substitute.
The district posted a message on its Facebook page stating it was aware of the video, and that no students were harmed.
“We understand and appreciate the concerns that have been voiced regarding this video,” the post stated. “Safety remains our foremost priority in the District. We take all safety matters seriously and we want to assure you that this incident is being fully investigated by the District. We can confirm that one student was on the bus during the recording of the video and the student is unharmed.”
Vongehr said the incident is still under investigation and that comments will not be made about personnel matters.
— Wes Bowers
S.J. Sheriff’s deputy killed in collision
FRENCH CAMP — A correctional officer with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office was killed in a traffic incident Sunday night on his way home.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Cesar Fuentes had just completed his shift at the San Joaquin County Jail and was riding his motorcycle eastbound on Mathews Road at about 6:30 p.m.
Fuentes approached a pickup truck that was stopped on the south shoulder of the road, when its driver suddenly pulled out in front of him to make a U-turn, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The motorcycle collided with the pickup truck, and Fuentes was taken to a local hospital, where he later died from his injuries, the Sheriff’s Office said.
A six-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, Fuentes had recently been promoted to the rank of Corporal Sergeant. He served on the Custody Emergency Response Team for five years, and served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2006 to 2018. He was 32 years old, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The driver of the pickup truck, a 60-year-old man, did not sustain any injuries in the collision, according to the California Highway Patrol.
— Wes Bowers
NAACP to host MLK walk/run on Saturday
STOCKTON — The Stockton branch of the NAACP is hosting the inaugural Dr. Luther King Jr. 5K & 10K Walk/Run on Saturday at Dr. Martin Luther King Plaza, 2 E. Oak St., Stockton.
Participants will have the choice of a 10K Run or 5K Run/Walk, on two flat, fast courses featuring lots of visibility for the runners of the field, ahead and behind them. The two courses will wind through downtown Stockton and Weber Point.
Registered walkers and runners will receive a commemorative technical T-shirt while supplies last, along with a custom finisher medal, pre-race refreshments, and a post-race box-lunch. Placement medals will go to the top three overall male/female categories in each event, ages 18 and older and 17 and younger. There will also be a trophy for the oldest runner.
After the races, participants are encouraged to take part in the event’s after-race activates including yoga in the park, health screenings, fitness classes, healthy-eating demonstrations, and raffles. Service dogs are welcome at the event.
Founded Feb. 12, 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest grassroots civil rights organization, with more than half a million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world.
Since it was chartered in 1931, the Stockton Branch NAACP has provided free services through their volunteers to the Stockton/San Joaquin County community, including scholarship and educational initiatives, health programs targeting schools, and organizing community-wide events.
— Oula Miqbel
Election workshops start Wednesday in Stockton
STOCKTON — The San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters will host a series of workshops to inform the public on a variety of election-related topics beginning Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the San Joaquin County Agricultural Commissioner building, 2101 E Earhart Ave., Suite 100, Stockton.
The workshops are free and open to the public. Attendees can learn more about voter registration and vote-by-mail, election transparency and observation, as well as candidate and campaign information.
To learn more about future workshops visit www.sjcrov.org, classes can be found on the ‘Voter Education’ tab.
— Oula Miqbel
Hospice names new board member
MODESTO — Community Hospice, the oldest and largest nonprofit hospice provider serving the Central Valley, has announced Fatima Seward has joined the Community Hospice Board of Directors.
Seward is the Senior Relationship Manager for BAC Community Bank. She has more than 25 years of experience in the banking industry with an extensive background in all aspects of service and operations.
The Community Hospice Board of Directors is composed of community volunteers who provide strategic oversight and governance to the organization’s mission to provide compassionate care, education, and support to terminally ill patients and their families, regardless of ability to pay.
Care extends to over 2,000 patients each year in private homes, skilled nursing facilities, retirement communities and at the 16-bed in-patient Alexander Cohen Hospice House.
Community Hospice also provides bereavement and grief support to anyone in the community. For more information please call 209.578.6300 or visit
— Oula Miqbel