Thirteen people were killed and 31 injured after a USA Holiday charter bus crashed into the back of a big-rig on I-10 near Palm Springs, according to a news report.
The California Highway Patrol said that the Alhambra-based charter bus was carrying 44 passengers returning to Los Angeles after a trip to the Red Earth Casino in Thermal when it smashed into the back of a semi-trailer. The force of the crash caused the bus to end up about 15 feet inside the big-rig.
Thirteen people, including the bus driver, died at the scene. The victims included:
- Zoila Aguilera, 72, of Los Angeles
- Concepcion Corvera, 57, of Palmdale
- Dora Galvez de Rodriguez, 69, of Los Angeles
- Ana Gomez de Magallon, 71, of Los Angeles
- Milagros Gonzales, 72, of Los Angeles
- Gustavo Green, 62, of Los Angeles
- Isabel Jimenez Hernandez, 66, of Los Angeles
- Yolanda Mendoza, 69, of Los Angeles
- Rosa Ruiz, 53, of Los Angeles
- Elvia Sanchez, 52, of Los Angeles
- Aracely Tije, 63, of Los Angeles
- Teodulo Vides, 59, of Los Angeles (owner of the charter bus company)
- Tony Mai, 50, Los Angeles
The rest of the passengers — 31 people — suffered a number of injuries and were transported to three area hospitals where five remain in critical condition.
CHP investigators said that the semi-truck was only going about 5 mph in a westbound lane of I-10 when the bus hit. Most of the fatalities occurred to people in the front of the bus, which did not have seat belts. Investigators also noted that there were no skid marks prior to the point of impact, indicating that the bus may not have braked before it hit the semi.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.
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