Ski employee bus crash kills 1, injures 27
April 4, 2009
A ski resort’s employee shuttle bus crashed on the main highway through California’s Sierra Nevada, near Tahoe, on Saturday, killing a passenger and injuring 27 others, authorities said.
The bus operated by the Resort at Squaw Creek veered off the road, “struck a guardrail and rolled several times” before stopping in a ditch along Interstate 80, about 20 miles west of Reno, said California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Skeen.
Some of the 30 or so people aboard were thrown from the bus, Skeen said. One was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver suffered “moderate to major” injuries and was being interviewed by officers, he said.
Kevin Romero, a spokesman for ambulance service REMSA, said 27 people were taken to hospitals in Reno and Truckee, Calif.
The most severely injured were taken to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, where one was listed in critical condition and six were in serious condition, said hospital spokesw oman Nicole Shearer.
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They suffered head injuries, broken bones and bruises, she said.
The bus was transporting employees from Reno to the upscale resort north of Lake Tahoe when the accident occurred, said company spokesman Les Pedersen.
“The driver had a very good record,” he said. “The bus had no mechanical problems that I’m aware of.”
The names of the driver and passengers were not immediately released.
Bella Fritz, a passer-by from Sparks, described seeing passengers at the scene before authorities arrived.
“One guy was stuck under the bus,” she told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “I ran back and got a blanket and covered one lady who had flown out of it and hit her head on a rock. She was in bad shape, but breathing. I rubbed her back until someone got here.”
The westbound lanes of I-80 were expected to be closed for several hours Saturday. The cause of the incident was under investigation