A truck that lost its brakes on a long hill slammed into the back of a
STATELINE, Nev. (AP) _ A truck that lost its brakes on a long hill slammed into the back of a Las Vegas-bound gamblers’ bus, killing two men and injuring 34 other passengers, authorities said Saturday.
The collision occurred shortly after 11 p.m. Friday on Interstate 15, said California Highway Patrol dispatcher Vicki Jugenheimer in Barstow.
″The bus ran off the road, hit a ditch, then went airborne and hit the dirt again, ejecting two bus occupants″ through the windshield, killing them, said highway patrol Sgt. Mike Norman. The chartered bus traveled about 800 feet before stopping, he said.
″There was dirt and debris and people’s clothes and everything on the ‘on’ ramp,″ said Lynn George, an ambulance driver from Baker, Calif.
The truck continued to roll from the crash site, on the California side of the state line, to this southern Nevada town at the bottom of the long downhill grade that had made it impossible to stop immediately, police said.
The driver, who was found calling authorities from a casino, was not arrested, Norman said.
The bus was chartered by a Trans World Airlines employee group from the Los Angeles area, Norman said. The airline does not serve Las Vegas, a ticket agent said.
″It could have been a whole lot worse than it was,″ said ambulance attendant Annie Price of Baker, Calif. ″I think they were extremely lucky the bus didn’t roll over.″
Thirty-four injured people were taken to four Las Vegas hospitals, about 50 miles northwest of the crash site. Five were hospitalized, including a woman in serious condition with multiple fractures, and 29 were treated and released, hospital spokeswomen said.