1 killed, dozens injured in California bus crash
REDDING, Calif. (AP) - A tour bus that had already crashed into a restaurant earlier in the day overturned Sunday in Northern California, killing one person and injuring dozens more, six of them seriously, authorities said.
The bus traveling form Los Angeles to Pasco, Washington, crashed just off Interstate 5 at about 8:30 a.m. about 100 miles south of the Oregon border, California Highway Patrol Officer Jeff Borgen told the Redding Record-Searchlight.
Earlier in the same trip and about 50 miles to the south, the bus had struck a Denny's restaurant in Red Bluff, Borgen said. No one was injured in that crash.
A 33-year-old man was killed, Borgen told the Redding Record-Searchlight. His name has not been released because relatives had not been notified.
Twenty-six others from the bus were taken to hospitals. Most had minor injuries and were treated and released.
Three patients were in critical condition, including one who was flown by helicopter to Mercy Medical Center in Mount Shasta with severe head injuries, hospital spokeswoman Joyce Zwanziger told the Sacramento Bee.
Three people were in serious condition at the same hospital's Redding location, where most of the patients were taken, spokeswoman Heather Nichols said.
"We drill for this kind of thing," Nichols told the Record-Searchlight.
Investigators said evidence at both crash sites show that driver fatigue may have been a factor. They did not say whether drugs or alcohol may have been involved.
No information was released on the driver, nor was it clear why the bus continued on its trip after the initial crash.
The bus operator, Yellow Arrow LLC, is based in Othello, Washington. It has a current license and before Sunday had no reported accidents in the past two years, according to federal records.
No one answered several calls from The Associated Press to a telephone number for the company that was listed in the records.
The hospital was working with the Salvation Army and the Red Cross to assist patients who had been released, many of whom were staying at a hospitality house run by the medical center.
"We're just keeping them safe and comfortable," Nichols said.