KRAMER JUNCTION >> One woman died and nearly two dozen people were injured in a crash near Kramer Junction involving a bus and two other cars along Highway 58 near Highway 395 Monday afternoon, according California Highway Patrol officials.
The crash was reported just after 12 p.m. involving a small touring bus and two other vehicles, CHP officer Brian Benson said.
“A 55-year-old woman, who was in one of the cars, died in the crash,” Benson said. “The tour bus was coming from Fresno heading to Las Vegas when it drifted into the opposite lane striking one of the two vehicles head-on.”
Nine people suffered life-threatening injuries in Monday afternoon’s crash, and 17 others were taken to hospitals with injuries that weren’t considered to be life-threatening, San Bernardino County Fire spokesman Eric Sherwin said.
Benson said the bus, owned by Arcadia-based A&F Tours Inc., seats about 30 passengers. The company didn’t respond to a message seeking comment.
The company’s vehicles have been inspected 22 times in the last two years, and a vehicle was taken out of service during one of the inspections, according to U.S. Department of Transportation records. The company did not report any crashes in the last two years, the records showed.
Duane DeBruyne, a spokesman for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, said the agency would assist in a post-crash assessment, including an examination of both the vehicle and the bus company’s safety record.
According to San Bernardino County Fire Department Twitter posts authorities asked for at least nine ambulances and eight helicopters to transport the nearly two dozen hurt in the crash.
However, due to weather conditions, some of the helicopters were having a hard time making it to the crash scene, according to initial fire reports.
Helicopters from nearby Ft. Irwin were called in to transport several of the injured.
The crash took place on Highway 58 about two miles east of Highway 395, fire officials posted.
“The tour bus flipped twice and landed upright,” Benson said. “The identity of the deceased is being withheld pending next-of-kin notification.”
Video footage at the scene posted online shows debris strewn all over the side of the highway as firefighters worked to remove the victims from the cars. The footage also shows firefighters placing a woman in a neck brace and carrying another on a stretcher, a woman comforting a puppy, and a man holding a child. The front end of the bus was badly damaged.
The highway was closed in both directions.
The Associated Press and staff writers Beatriz E. Valenzuela and Doug Saunders contributed to this report.
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