Tow truck driver in fatal downtown crash was not properly permitted

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The driver of a tow truck that collided with a bus in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday morning, killing the Metro driver, was not legally permitted to operate in California.

The driver was identified as 43-year-old Yousef Adhami of Gardena by NBCLA's investigative team. He was listed in grave condition at an area hospital, according to a statement from the Los Angeles Police Department.

In order to tow a vehicle commercially in California, a driver must have a commercial driver's license, a tow truck certificate, and a motor carrier permit. Adhami did not have a tow truck certificate and his motor carrier permit had expired, according to Artemio Armenta, a spokesperson for the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Adhami also had only a standard Class C license, which is not for commercial use, Armenta said.

The accident occurred shortly after 5 a.m. Wednesday when Adhami was traveling south on Broadway and ran a red light. Witnesses estimated he was traveling nearly 60 mph in a 30 mph zone. His truck collided with a Metro bus and then smashed into the front of a 7-Eleven convenience store. The bus was pushed into the sidewalk and knocked over a fire hydrant, spraying water up into the air.

There were no passengers in either vehicle, but debris from the impact injured a store clerk slightly.

Longtime Metro bus driver Olivia Gamboa, 47, was found face down in the water. She was taken to a local hospital but died from her injuries, according to police.

Locals put up a makeshift memorial for Gamboa at the site of the accident.

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