Las Vegas Fire & Rescue
Published Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015 | 10:35 a.m.
Updated Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015 | 4:57 p.m.
Five people involved in a fatal crash that caused a tour bus to flip and catch fire have been identified, and the Las Vegas man suspected of causing the crash has been arrested on multiple DUI counts.
According to Metro Police and Lt. Jeff Goodwin:
Firefighters were called at 7:05 a.m. Saturday to the 1100 block of South Main Street at Charleston Boulevard. A 1990 BMW 540i driven by Jonathan Donner, 24, hit the Chevrolet bus, causing the bus to roll over and crash into a 2010 Ford F-150, then catch fire.
Two bus passengers were killed; their names are being withheld pending notification of family members. Three others — Stefanie Kloeppel, 30, of Germany, and Brian Zerbee, 39, and Sara Zerbee, 34, both of Cedar Rapids, Iowa — escaped the burning bus and were taken to University Medical Center, as was the driver of the BMW. Their condition wasn’t immediately known.
The occupant of the Ford, Sean Poe, 32, of Las Vegas, was not injured. Donner was arrested on two counts of DUI resulting in death and three counts of DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm.
The crash remains under investigation. The deaths were the 67th and 68th traffic-related fatalities in Metro Police’s jurisdiction this year.
Juan Leon, the 33-year-old general manager of Casa Don Juan Mexican Restaurant, was at work when he heard the crash. The restaurant is at 1204 S. Main St., about a block south of the crash site.
”By the time we came outside, the van was on fire,” he said. “The explosion was so big. A few cars stopped to try to help them, but there was absolutely no way they could help. We couldn’t do anything but sit and watch, really. It was really sad.”
Valeria Valera, 25, was setting up tables and chairs on the patio of her business, Makers and Finders Coffee, at 1120 S. Main St., when she and an employee noticed people stopping and taking photographs in the road. They then saw the aftermath of the accident.
”The (mini bus) was completely on fire,” Valera said. “Myself and the other girl just kind of freaked out. We were definitely spooked about what was going on. I called the police, but they already were handling it.”
Streets in the area were closed until about 1:30 p.m. as authorities investigated. Valera said she was able to allow customers in through a back entrance.