A crash tonight between a chartered tour bus and an another vehicle on Highway 38, northwest of Yucaipa and east of Redlands, has left at least three people dead and 27 people injured, according to a San Bernardino County Fire Department spokesman and media reports.
According to some media outlets, the number of those killed in the crash may be as high as eight.
The crash on Highway 38, north of Mill Creek Road and south of Forest Falls Road in the San Bernardino Forest was reported at 6:34 p.m., said Eric Sherwin a spokesman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department.
“The crash involved a tour bus and another vehicle,” Sherwin told City News Service. “I don’t know yet what the second vehicle was.” Sherwin told CNS the injury total included “multiple fatalities and 27 people injured.”
“I don’t have a firm death total yet and those injured range from minor to life-threatening.” Sherwin said.
Several media outlets have reported the initial death total at three.
A number of people were ejected from the bus, Sherwin said, adding that some people were trapped inside the overturned bus, but all the injured have been extricated from the bus as of 8:30 p.m., Sherwin said
“Highway 38 is a two-lane, windy road and one of three ways up to Big Bear through the San Bernardino Forest,” Sherwin said. “I don’t know yet whether the bus was heading up or down the mountain.”
Sherwin also did not yet know the name of the bus charter company.
However, he said the location of the accident and the fact there were so many injuries made the rescue operation “very difficult.”
“We are using a nearby U.S. Ranger station as a staging area for ambulances,” he said. “We are bringing the ambulances up one at a time because it is very difficult for them to get here and turn around to go back down the mountain.”
Sherwin also said it was too early in the investigation to know whether impaired driving played a role in this deadly crash.