Written by City News Service
As many as 50 people, six of whom were airlifted to trauma centers, were injured today when a tour bus overturned on the side of the eastbound Foothill (210) Freeway in Irwindale, but there were no fatalities.
The Da Zhen bus rolled over around 10 a.m. near Irwindale Avenue east of the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway. At least 10 ambulances responded to the scene, along with at least four medical helicopters to carry patients to area hospitals.
All lanes of the freeway were temporarily closed to accommodate medical helicopters. Around 11 a.m., however, all westbound lanes were reopened, along with the eastbound carpool lane.
Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatcher Kyle Sanford said 40 to 50 people were injured, but there were no fatalities. Six people were flown from the scene, four to Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center and two to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, CHP spokesman Officer Saul Gomez told City News Service.
"Of course, those are the ones (patients airlifted) that suffered serious injuries," Gomez said, adding that most of the victims suffered moderate to minor injuries.
It was not immediately clear what caused the wreck, although a witness told KNX radio that the bus driver was apparently trying to make a lane change then overcorrected, causing the bus to roll. A flatbed truck was also stopped at the scene, but it was unclear if the bus and the truck actually collided.
"It's just too early at this point to determine how the accident happened," Gomez said. "We are going to keep the bus as evidence and we will assign motor vehicle specialists to this case."
Gomez said investigators will check the records of the bus, the driver and safety record of the Da Zhen Travel Agency.
"Eventually, we will be able to determine whether the accident was caused by a mechanical problem with the bus, driver error or some other circumstance we're not yet aware of," Gomez said. "But I don't think we will have any firm details of how the accident happened for another four to five hours."
The Da Zhen Travel Agency is based in Monterey Park. It was unclear how many people were on the bus and where it was heading.
A secretary at the agency told City News Service that her supervisors were assisting the CHP with the tour bus crash and all had gone to the scene.