4 Killed as Big Rig Spills Pipes, Causes Bus Crash

Tour bus either hit or swerved to avoid hitting pipes
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2014 8:25 AM CDT
4 Killed as Big Rig Spills Pipes, Causes Bus Crash
Stock image   (Shutterstock)

At least four people are dead and more were injured this morning when a big rig jackknifed on a California highway and spilled its load of metal pipes. Somehow a fully-loaded tour bus traveling the opposite way on the 10 Freeway got involved—it may have hit the pipes or swerved to avoid them—and ended up rolling 40 to 50 feet down an embankment, coming to rest on its side. The accident happened at 2:15am east of Blythe, near California's border with Arizona, and the highway is currently shut down in both directions.

"The pipes ... caused some of the vehicles to crash into them in the eastbound lanes and it appears they could have rolled into westbound traffic, which is where the bus was traveling," a Caltrans official tells CBS 2. "We don’t know if the bus hit the pipes or swerved to avoid hitting the pipes." Two other vehicles were involved in the crash; ABC 7 reports that the big rig collided with at least one of them. But all four of the victims who died were traveling on the bus. Some of the other injuries are critical, KTLA reports. (Read more accident stories.)

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