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Horrific California Bus Crash Kills 13

Monday, October 24, 2016 7:09
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By Douglas V. Gibbs
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Just up the hill and to the east of my location is the desert communities.  Near Desert Hot Springs a Big Rig and tour bus collided, creating a horrific fatal incident along the Interstate 10 Freeway.

Friday’s early morning crash in the westbound lanes of the 10 Freeway at Indian Canyon in the Desert Hot Springs area began when the big rig driver, fully loaded with food products, and suffering only moderate injuries, felt a “thump in the back, but that’s all he really knew.”

I spent fourteen years driving big rigs, and when hauling a lot of weight, collisions don’t even register when it comes to what you feel.  That’s why it is so important for truck drivers to always be aware. . . but sometimes, full awareness is not enough.

According to a California Highway Patrol official, “The speed of the bus was so significant that when it hit the back of the big-rig trailer, the trailer itself entered about 15 feet into the bus…there was a substantial impact.”

Forty-four adults were aboard the bus.  The tour bus was identified as a 1996 USA Holiday bus. The Los Angeles-based company typically ferries people from LA to nearby casinos on what are called “day trips.” The bus driver, who also owns the company and has not been identified, was killed in the crash.

No mechanical deficiencies have been reported regarding the bus’s maintenance records.

Fourteen persons were treated at a hospital in Palm Springs, with five in critical condition, three in serious condition and six with minor injuries.  Eleven people with minor injuries were sent to Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage. JFK Medical Center received five patients, all with minor injuries.  Thirteen have been reported dead.  Authorities have not indicated they believe the number will rise.

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