BREAKING NEWS: Eight dead and 38 injured in horror bus crash close to Los Angeles

BREAKING NEWS: Eight dead and 38 injured in horror bus crash close to Los AngelesSmash happened on State Route 38 near Forest Falls, 80 miles east of LABus driver reported brake problems as he came down mountain roadVehicle carrying tourists hit sedan before smashing into pick-up truckPassengers were returning from a day of skiiing at popular Big Bear resort

By
Martin Robinson

PUBLISHED:

07:02 GMT, 4 February 2013

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UPDATED:

08:25 GMT, 4 February 2013

At least eight people are dead and 38 more injured after a tour bus collided with two other vehicles in the mountains of Southern California.

The horrific crash happened near the town of Forest Falls, 80 miles east of Los Angeles, and also involved a pick-up truck pulling a trailer and a sedan car.

The bus lies stricken on a famous mountainous stretch of State Route 38, a two lane highway leading to Big Bear, a popular ski
resort in California.

Tragedy: Eight are dead after a Mexican tour bus crashed in California, on its way back to Tijuana in Mexico from Big Bear

Tragedy: Eight are dead after a Mexican tour bus crashed in California, on its way back to Tijuana in Mexico from Big Bear

Hurt: Victims of a fatal bus crash reach out to comfort eachother in the wake of the crash with multiple fatalities

Hurt: Victims of a fatal bus crash reach out to comfort eachother in the wake of the crash with multiple fatalities

A Highway Patrol officer at the scene, Mario Lopez, confirmed the death toll and said almost 40 have been rushed to hospital after the smash at 6.30pm last night.

The bus driver reported having brake problems as it came down the mountain on State Route 38, rear-ending a sedan then flipping over and hitting a pickup truck that was pulling a trailer, he said.

Passengers on the bus were part of a tour group from Tijuana, Mexico, and a representative from the Mexican consulate was at the crash scene.

It is thought those on board were returning from a day of skiing and snowboarding at Big Bear.

Debris: A California Highway Patrol officer stands near the crash scene with the battered trailer from a pick-truck hit by the bus in the background

Debris: A California Highway Patrol officer stands near the crash scene with the battered trailer from a pick-truck hit by the bus in the background

Tragedy: Emergency services help victims at the crash scene near Forest Falls, California, around 80 miles from Los Angeles

Tragedy: Emergency services help victims at the crash scene near Forest Falls, California, around 80 miles from Los Angeles

Scene: One of the 38 injured is taken into an ambulance after a tour bus crashed with a pickup truck and car on a rural mountain highway in Southern California on Sunday night, killing eight people

Scene: One of the 38 injured is taken into an ambulance after a tour bus crashed with a pick-up truck and car on a rural mountain highway in Southern California on Sunday night, killing eight people

People were being extricated from the bus more than an hour after the crash on a mountainous stretch of two-lane Highway 38, and rescuers were still searching the wreckage for victims hours later. Television footage showed the bus sitting upright but turned sideways on the road.

At least seven ambulances were called to the scene, and patients were taken to several hospitals, some with critical injuries.

Arrowhead Regional Medical Center said four women had been admitted from the crash and their conditions were still being determined.

Catastrophe: Investigators survey the scene with the battered bus and trailer taped off and items like shoes, probably belonging to victims, strewn on the road

Catastrophe: Investigators survey the scene with the battered bus and trailer taped off and items like shoes, probably belonging to victims, strewn on the road

Redland Community Hospital said it received one person in critical condition and one with minor injuries, while two more were en route with minor injuries.

Community Hospital of San Bernardino said it had received one patient with undetermined injuries, while St. Bernadine Medical Center said it had two patients, whose injuries were being assessed.

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.