HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com) — After a CBS2 investigation revealed a bus driver holding a cellphone in front of him while driving 60 mph on I-5, CBS2 Investigative Reporter David Goldstein tracked down the driver to hear what he had to say.
“Do you always drive like that, holding a phone?” Goldstein asked, while confronting the driver on the Huntington Beach Pier.
“I was talking on the phone,” said the driver, Kevin Sanchez.
But sources said Sanchez often does more than talk while driving; he allegedly records videos while driving that he posts online.
A Facebook user said Sanchez “frequently posts cellphone photos and videos taken while driving a transit bus.”
“Man, this phantom is so much fun to drive,” a driver says in a YouTube video posted to an account bearing Sanchez’s name.
Another video titled “Me driving former Torrance transit,” shows someone videotaping while behind the wheel.
David Goldstein asked Sanchez if that was true.
“I don’t do that,” he said.
When pressed by Goldstein, Sanchez changed his tone, defending himself by saying there were no passengers in the bus. (Sanchez does drive passengers for clients including Disney, however).
“Is that the safe thing to do?” Goldstein asked.
“It’s not,” Sanchez replied.
“Then why do you do it? Goldstein asked.
“I don’t know,” Sanchez replied.
Sanchez maintained that in the video taken by the teenager, he was simply talking on the phone and not recording video.
Still, bus-safety expert Robert Berkstrasser said any level of distracted driving in a large passenger van could easily turn into a disaster.
“If he comes contact with a vehicle that’s a quarter of its weight, a motorcycle, a small car, he is going to do, if not a fatality, there’s going to be some serious, serious injury,” he said.
After Goldstein’s confrontation, Sanchez appeared to realize the potential impact of his actions.
“Why would you talk on the phone and hold the phone up like that?” Goldstein asked.
“Cause I f—ed up. I get it,” Sanchez said.