A group of 30 Chinese tourists were headed to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah this weekend when their bus rolled off the road and crashed into a guardrail. Four people were pronounced dead on the scene and covered in blankets on the asphalt, while 5 others were rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
Emergency personnel, including multiple air ambulances, rescue crews, and Chinese interpreters, rushed to the scene, where they found the bus with a crushed top and shattered windows. Emergency responders tended to the injured amidst scattered luggage and debris. Garfield Memorial Hospital received 17 patients, three of whom were in critical condition and 11 who were seriously injured. Other victims were transferred to multiple hospitals within the area.
State Route 12 was closed following the accident and motorists were encouraged to avoid the area. Investigators spent time searching receipts and cameras inside the bus, in an attempt to discover where the group was coming from (Southern California) and where they were heading (likely the entrance to Bryce Canyon).
The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the accident with a 10-party team, along with the Utah Highway Patrol, who will conduct its own, independent investigation.
The bus was registered to an Ontario, California-based company called America Shengjai and neither the company, nor the Chinese-American driver had been cited for major safety violations.
While this appears to be the company’s first crash, it is not the first to take place on this dangerous stretch of road. In 2010, a similar bus accident occurred, killing 3 tourists and injuring 11. In this instance, investigators revealed that the cause of the accident was distracted or drowsy driving.
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If you or a loved one was involved in this crash, or a similar bus accident, our attorneys can help. At Esisenberg, Cutt, Kendell & Olson, we want to help you get started on the long road to recovery.
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