Tour Bus Crash In Irwindale Injures 50, Shuts Down 210 Freeway [UPDATED]
At least 30 people were injured when a tour bus overturned on the side of the eastbound 210 Freeway in Irwindale around 10 a.m. this morning, according to the L.A. Times.
A tour bus from the Da Zhen Travel Agency based in Monterey Park rolled over near Irwindale Avenue east of the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway, City News Service reports.
Initial reports indicated a collision with a big rig truck, which was also on scene, but it's not clear if the two vehicles actually collided.
At least 10 ambulances responded to the scene, along with three medical helicopters that airlifted six patients to area hospitals.
Fortunately, there were no fatalities. The conditions of the wounded were not immediately available, although most seem to have suffered only bumps and bruises. It's believed the bus was carrying 50 people.
Fox 11 reports that the bus was on its way to the San Manuel Casino in Highland.
A witness told KNX radio that the bus driver was apparently trying to make a lane change then overcorrected, causing the bus to roll. CHP will be investigating the cause of the crash.
All lanes of the freeway were temporarily closed so that medical helicopters could land. Around 11 a.m., all westbound lanes were reopened, along with the eastbound carpool lane.
Naturally, the closure resulted in huge traffic back-ups.
The CHP planned to divert traffic off the 605 Freeway onto surface streets in Irwindale, according to the Times.
UPDATE, 2:32 P.M. CNS reports that two additional lanes, besides the carpool lane, of the eastbound 210 Freeway have been opened following the crash. All westbound lanes are now open.
UPDATE, 1:50 P.M. City News Service reports that as many as 50 people were injured in the accident.
UPDATE, 12:38 P.M. Kevin Andrews, who's in charge of public relations at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, told Fox 11 that the three patients their hospital received were all Chinese-speaking, but fortunately, they have Chinese-speaking doctors on staff. He said one of the patients transported there was an 86-year-old man experiencing chest pains whom they're "keeping a close eye on."
UPDATE, 12:28 P.M. Fox 11 talked to two eyewitnesses who called 911 and stopped to help the injured off the bus. They said that the accident occurred when the bus clipped a black Hyundai when attempting to change lanes. The Hyundai was able to correct, but the bus was not and flipped on its side.
Marla and Mike Gundry from Wildomar rushed to help people off the bus. "There was people bleeding, hurt," Mike Gundry said. He said because there was an oil spill, he was concerned that the bus was about to catch fire.
The couple had just come from UCLA where Marla is being treated for lung cancer. She is facing surgery in September. "I would expect the same in return," Marla told reporter Gigi Graciette of her decision to stop and help.