At approximately 6:30 p.m., Sunday night, a tour bus carrying 38 passengers struck a car, flipped, then struck a pickup truck pulling a trailer.
The incident occurred on the narrow mountain road, Route 38, near Forest Falls. The tour bus was heading back to Tijuana, Mexico, from Big Bear.
Several passengers were thrown from the bus.
“The violence of the crash and severity of the injuries made for a chaotic scene, and authorities had a difficult time determining how many people were injured or killed. [California Highway Patrol spokesman Mario] Lopez said at least eight and perhaps 10 were dead, and 38 transported to hospitals,” CBS News reported.
Caltrans spokeswoman Michelle Profant told CBS News, “It’s really a mess up there with body parts.”
“It’s a horrific scene,” Lopez said. “Probably one of the worst ones I have seen in my career. There are victims inside the bus, outside the bus, personal belongings [everywhere].”
The bus driver survived the crash. He told investigators that the bus suffered brake problems, causing him to rear end the car.
The bus is owned by Scapadas Magicas of National City, California.
42 people were injured in the crash. Several were taken to hospitals with injuries ranging from moderate to critical. Authorities say they expect the death toll to rise as they get to bodies still trapped inside the wreckage.