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Casino Bus, Truck Crash in Colorado

May 12, 2006

BLACK HAWK, Colo. (AP) _ A casino bus with at least 14 passengers onboard and a utility truck collided on a winding canyon highway Thursday about three miles outside this gambling town, injuring 10 people, including both drivers who were in critical condition, authorities said.

Both the bus driver and the utility truck driver were airlifted from the scene, Colorado State Patrol Master Trooper Ron Watkins said.

Six passengers on the bus were transported to hospitals by ambulance, though their conditions were not immediately known.

Gilpin County Sheriff Bruce Hartman described the collision as nearly head-on. Watkins said it appeared the bus had crossed the center line.

Hartman said two gravel trucks also collided and a motorcycle toppled, all while trying to avoid the first crash, while Watkins said a Subaru crashed into a guard rail.

Watkins said the drivers of the motorcycle and Subaru were injured and transported by ambulance.

The collision shut down Colorado 119 west of Denver, the primary route to the gambling towns of Central City and Black Hawk. Numerous buses use the highway to ferry gamblers between the casinos and Denver.

Calls to the Casino Transportation Inc., which Watkins said owns the bus and Cummings Rocky Mountain LLC, which owns the utility truck, were not immediately answered.

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