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Gambling Bus Collides With Van; Two Dead, 35 Hurt

August 27, 1995

BLACK HAWK, Colo. (AP) _ A bus carrying dozens of gamblers to a Colorado casino collided head-on with a van and plunged into a creek Sunday, killing two passengers. At least 41 people were injured.

Authorities said the bus was heading northwest on two-lane Colorado 119 when the van tried to pass a vehicle in the opposite lane and crossed over.

The collision sent the bus veering off the road and into Clear Creek, where it landed on its side on a stretch of dry creek bed.

At least two people trapped under a boulder were screaming for help, said Jennifer Manley, a nurse who stopped at the accident site about 35 miles northwest of Denver.

``I was trying every little thing I could do with no equipment to assess to see what injuries people had,″ she said. ``Everyone was covered with blood.″

The dead were two women who were among the 42 bus passengers. The driver of the van was critically injured. It was not immediately clear whether he was alone in the van.

Of the bus passengers who were hurt, 11 suffered critical or serious injuries, officials said.

The Casino Transportation Inc. shuttle bus was carrying gamblers from Golden to Black Hawk and Central City, one of three Colorado communities where limited-stakes gambling is allowed. The other is Cripple Creek.

Mary Ellen Floy, 54, said the bus rolled twice and she was ejected through a window.

Staggering about in shock, ``I just kept saying the Lord’s Prayer over and over. I just thank God I’m alive.″

Update hourly