Tour bus smashes into back of truck, killing 13
A tour bus crashed into the back of an articulated truck on a Southern California highway before dawn yesterday, killing at least 13 people and injuring 31 others.
The bus was traveling west on Interstate 10 when the crash occurred near Palm Springs, a city about 160km east of Los Angeles.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) chief Jim Abele said that because of the speed of the bus, the truck's trailer pushed about five metres back into the bus.
The bus driver was among the 13 killed. He is understood to have been one of the owners of the bus company.
The 31 injured passengers had minor to moderate injuries. The bus had been inspected by the CHP as recently as April this year and there was no indication of mechanical problems at the time.
Photographs from the scene showed the front of the tour bus wedged inside the back of the trailer, with emergency workers using metal ladders to reach the inside of the bus.
The injured were being treated at hospitals while all westbound lanes of the interstate were closed near the crash.
The bus had left the Red Earth Casino in Salton City, California, and was heading to Los Angeles when the crash was reported to the CHP at about 5.17am.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it would investigate the crash and was sending a team to the site.