April 14, 2013

Patrol: 16 hurt in bus crash near Yosemite park

FRESNO, California — A bus carrying visitors from Yosemite National Park crashed on a main highway south of the park, leaving 16 people injured, the California Highway Patrol said Sunday.

The bus was about 40 miles south of the park when it went off Highway 41 and over an embankment about 6 p.m. Saturday.

The patrol's Merced dispatch office described it as a minor injury crash, and said the 16 people were taken to local hospitals.

The bus was carrying 17 people, including the driver, when the crash occurred.

No more police information was immediately available, but the Fresno Bee quoted officers as saying the bus was returning from a visit to the park when the bus driver, who was traveling about 40 mph, lost control of the bus.

Patrol Sgt. Edward Greene said the bus rolled onto an embankment and several passengers were thrown to the driver's side of the bus. It eventually came to a stop after hitting a tree.

"If the tree wasn't there to stop the bus, it would have continued down the ravine," Greene said.

The newspaper said the injured people - the majority of whom were elderly - were taken to three area hospitals with minor to moderate injuries.

Four of the injured were treated at Community Regional Medical Center, and four were treated at Clovis Community Medical Center, said Jennifer Avila-Allen, a spokeswoman for the hospitals. All but one at Community Regional had been released, she said.

The bus driver was the only one who was not hurt.

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