California bus crash kills at least 8 people: death toll expected to rise
At least eight people were killed and more than three dozens injured when a tour bus crashed on Sunday night in California. The deadly accident occurred on State Route 38, about 80 miles east of Los Angeles, CNN reported. The bus on its way to Tijuana, Mexico, when it plowed into a Saturn sedan and then a Ford pickup at around 6:30 pm.
According to the Associated Press, speed may have been a factor in the bus careening out of control and causing the fatal pile-up. The driver survived the crash and authorities are now investigating to see if there was any mechanical failure or if it was driver error. The bus driver claims that the vehicle suffered brakes failure. The Scapadas Magicas LLC Company, who owns the bus, however has not seen any accidents in two years. They are reportedly licensed to carry passengers for interstate travel.
The death toll is expected to rise as the coroner is still attending to the dead and the passenger list has to be looked at as well. Speaking on behalf of InterBus Tours, manager Jordi Garcia told AP that 38 people had left Tijuana at 5 am for a day of skiing at Big Bear.
Authorities have not yet indicated whether the death toll includes anyone traveling in the car or pick-up truck.
Michelle Profant, spokesperson for the California Department of Transportation reportedly described the scene of the accident as “shocking.” Mangled vehicle parts, debris and body parts are strewn all over the highway, she said.
The injured range from serious to life threatening and all have been taken to area hospitals. Two women reportedly in critical condition and two classified as stable were taken to the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.
Other medical centers include Redlands Community Hospital, which reportedly took in six patients, one in critical condition; Loma Linda Medical Center, with one under 18 girl and a man, both critical, as well as two other patients, including another minor in fair condition.
This is an unfolding story so check back for updates.