Authorities say 13 people died when a tour bus rear-ended a semi-truck on a California highway.
California Highway Patrol Border Division Chief Jim Abele says the early Sunday crash just north of Palm Springs injured an additional 31 people.
He says the USA Holiday tour bus was returning to Los Angeles after a visit to the Red Earth Casino in Thermal, California.
He says the bus was traveling much faster than the semi, and the impact was so strong, the bus went about 15 feet into the trailer. He says it’s not clear if the bus was speeding.
Abele says it’s unknown if alcohol, drugs or fatigue played a role in the accident. The bus was inspected in 2014, 2015 and this year and found no mechanical issues.
DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) – The California Highway Patrol says at least three passengers were killed when a tour bus and a semi-truck crashed on a highway in Southern California.
CHP Officer Stephanie Hamilton tells the Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs (http://desert.sn/2ekf1LI ) that crews were searching the bus for more victims after the wreck early Sunday on Interstate 10 in Desert Hot Springs, near the desert resort town.
The newspaper reports at least 21 victims have been taken to Palm Springs-area hospitals.
Photos show the front of the passenger bus pushed into the semi-truck’s trailer.
Hamilton says “the intrusion into the bus compartment is significant.”
Firefighters are using ladders into the bus’ windows to pull out victims.
The CHP says all westbound lanes of the highway are closed and traffic is being diverted.
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