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PHOENIX, AZ — A commercial bus carrying 21 passengers crashed claiming the lives of six people early Friday morning when the bus rolled over after hitting a vehicle. The crash occurred at 5:27 a.m. on Interstate 10 about 25 miles south of Phoenix when the bus rear-ended a pickup truck, according to Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves. Two vehicles, a semi-truck and a passenger car also crashed after the bus veered off the road.

The bus was carrying 21 passengers. All those killed and injured were on the bus.

The bus driver lost control and veered to the left, then to the right and off the road, rolling over at least once while several people were ejected from the bus, another Public Safety spokesman, Robert Bailey, told CNN sister network HLN. 

The accident scene quickly became a mass of police and rescue personnel as ambulances arrived and rescuers broke out windows of the bus to get to victims, setting up a triage area in the middle of the interstate.

Watch KPHO-TV’s slide show from the scene

Graves told reporters that two men and four women were killed. The bus was carrying 21 passengers. All those killed and injured were on the bus.

Helicopters landed on the freeway to airlift the most critically injured.

Fifteen of the 21 bus passengers were transported to hospitals, including five who suffered serious injuries and were taken by helicopter, Graves said. Two 11-year-olds — a boy and a girl — are among the injured.

Ten of the injured were taken by ambulance to various hospitals and five were flown by medical helicopter, he said.

Aerial video showed emergency crews from several agencies breaking out windows, trying to remove victims from the mangled bus. Medics set up a triage area on the freeway to treat the injured. A total of five medical helicopters were called out to the scene.

Two 11-year-old children, a boy and a girl, reportedly were among the injured.


Location of fatal bus crash 7 miles south of Rigs Rd near Phoenix Arizona

Eight of the patients, including the 11-year-old boy and the bus driver, were taken to Maricopa Medical Center.

“We’re seeing broken spines, broken pelvises, broken ribs — pretty severe injuries,” said Michael Murphy.

The bus, which is owned by a Los Angeles company called Tierra Santa, reportedly was coming from Durango, Mexico. A new driver took over when the bus crossed the border in El Paso, Texas.


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DPS was advising drivers to avoid the area for at least the next four to six hours.

Westbound traffic was being diverted at Casa Blanca Road. That detour will take traffic north to connect with Loop 202 and 101. Drivers will be able to take Riggs Road or Queen Creek Road back to I-10.

The eastbound lanes are open near the wreck scene, but traffic is moving very slowly.

Early reports said the bus hit a semi, but Graves said later the tractor trailer semi  truck was not involved in the crash with the bus. Two non-injury accidents occurred behind the bus crash.

For more information about Arizona trucking laws, truck injury causes and victims rights, contact an experienced Arizona truck accident lawyer. For a free initial consultation, contact nationwide truck accident attorneys, Gordon, Elias & Seely LLP, for the best advise possible.

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