Eight people were killed and 38 injured this morning when a bus carrying Mexican tourists went out of control while travelling down a California road. The bus struck a car, flipped over and crashed into a pick-up truck.
The accident happened at around 6:30 p.m local time. and left State Route 38 littered with debris, the bus was sideways across the two lanes and its front end crushed. Emergency crews worked to free passengers who were trapped in the bus, which was carrying a tour group from Tijuana.
The violence of the crash and severity of the injuries made for a chaotic scene, and authorities had a difficult time determining how many people were injured or killed.
California Department of Transportation spokeswoman Michelle Profant said the scene was shocking.
"It's really a mess up there with body parts," she said.
The bus driver survived and told investigators the bus suffered brake problems as it headed down the mountain. It rear-ended a sedan and flipped, then struck a pickup truck pulling a trailer.
Lettering on the bus indicated that it was operated by Scapadas Magicas LLC, a company based in National City, Calif. Federal transportation records show that the company is licensed to carry passengers for interstate travel and that it had no crashes in the past two years.
The California crash comes less than a day after a bus carrying 42 high school students and their chaperones slammed into an overpass in Boston. Massachusetts state police said 35 people were injured and that the driver had directed the bus onto a road with a height limit.
Police say the driver may have missed a sign indicating that the bus wouldn't fit under the overpass.
Medical workers say of those hurt in the accident, 28 sustained minor injuries, and five people were hospitalized with serious injuries.