California bus crash leaves dozens injured, 2 critically

HIGHLAND, Calif. (AP) — A shuttle bus carrying about two dozen women returning from a church retreat overturned Sunday on a highway in Southern California’s San Bernardino Mountains, leaving two critically injured, four with moderate injuries and 20 with minor injuries, authorities said.

The bus turned on its side across State Route 330 shortly after 2 p.m., San Bernardino County Fire Capt. Jeremy Kern said.

It was one of several buses carrying about 200 women who were returning from an annual mountain retreat to their church in Downey, California, a church official said.

“We got the news right after regular Sunday Service,” Robert Acosta, assistant to the senior pastor at Iglesia de Cristo Ministerios Llamada Final, told the San Bernardino Sun. “It was unnerving, but we immediately pulled together.”

Two patients were airlifted to hospitals, and four more with moderate injuries were taken to hospitals in ground ambulances, Kern Said. Twenty people had minor injuries including scrapes and bruises and were examined at the scene. All of the victims are expected to survive.

At one point as it was coming down the mountain, the 2000 El Dorado bus made contact with a Nissan Versa sedan, California Highway Patrol spokesman Juan Quintero said. No one in the car was hurt.

The CHP is investigating the cause.

The highway was shut down for hours for a 16-mile stretch near Highland. The bus was lying on its right side diagonally across the road and blocking the entire highway.

The crash site is about 60 miles east of Los Angeles and about 20 miles from the site of a 2013 bus crash on another highway in the San Bernardino Mountains. Eight people were killed in that crash of a tour bus from Tijuana, Mexico.

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