DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) -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.
A trauma surgeon Dr. Ricard Townsend of Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, says many of those most severely wounded in a deadly tour bus crash in California suffered facial trauma but few broken bones, calling the injuries unusual for a high-speed vehicle wreck.