For release on May 15, 2013
Brian Welch, Supervising Deputy District Attorney
PARTY BUS OWNER CHARGED WITH MANSLAUGHTER IN WOMAN’S FATAL FALL
Jon Reno St. James, the owner of “Party Bus of Santa Cruz,” was arrested today after being indicted on charges of vehicular manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter for the death of a 25 year-old woman who died last year when she fell out of his company’s bus and on to a roadway. The Santa Clara County Grand Jury indicted St. James on Friday, May 3, 2013.
The fatal incident occurred on July 27, 2012, just before midnight, when the limousine style “bus” was returning to Santa Cruz after taking a group of friends to a concert in Mountain View. Two passengers fell from the side door of the vehicle and onto Highway 17, near Los Gatos. Natasha Noland, of Santa Cruz, died as a result of the fall; the other passenger survived.
The Grand Jury determined that St. James, 56, exhibited gross negligence in overseeing the maintenance of his company’s bus and ensuring his passengers’ safety. St. James was arrested by the California Highway Patrol near his residence in Yucca Valley. His arraignment has not yet been scheduled.
If convicted, St. James faces a maximum of six years in prison.