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13 Confirmed Dead After Tour Bus Crashes Into Big Rig On Highway 10 Near Indio

Bus was carrying tourists from Red Earth Casino back to Los Angeles


October 25, 2016

Desert Sun

13 Dead After Tour Bus Crashes Into Big Rig On Highway 10 Near Indio

At least 13 tour bus passengers are dead after the vehicle crashed into a big rig on a California highway Sunday morning, authorities said.

The crash on Interstate 10 sent at least 30 passengers from the USA Holiday bus to Palm Springs area hospitals, the Desert Sun reported. The big rig driver was not hurt.

The cause of the 5 a.m. crash has not been determined. The California Highway Patrol could not immediately be reached. The passengers were mostly European and Chinese tourists on holiday.

The tourists were reportedly returning from the Red Earth Casino, an Indian bingo and gambling facility near Palm Springs. The front of the tour bus was crumpled inward and the back of the truck trailer was destroyed, said the LA Times.

By noon Sunday, the tour bus had been hauled away, and workers swept and carried debris from the road. Several bus seats that had been scattered on the freeway were taken away. Nearby, an official packed purses and backpacks into brown paper bags.

Bodies that had lined the side of the road in white bags were removed, two at a time, in a slow procession of coroner’s vans. The Riverside County Coroner’s office could not confirm the number of fatalities.951-443-2300 is the phone number of the Riverside County coroner, for relatives to call.

"The bus company is USA Holiday Bus based in Los Angeles. They were coming fro the Red Earth Casino. The bus head been inspected by the CHP as recently as April 2016. The bus is a 1996 model and the CHP is not certain that there is a data recorder," said Jim Abele of the CHP. Traffic was slowed down due to construction at the time he said. "All 44 passengers appear to be adults, said Abele. Use of drugs or alcohol are unknown at this time."

The crash is among the deadliest in California history. The State was the site of the deadliest bus crash in US history — a school bus disaster in 1976 that killed 28 students and one teacher from Yuba City High School.


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