Four Dead, Several Injured In Tour Bus Crash Near Bryce Canyon
BRYCE CANYON CITY, Utah – Four people died and over a dozen people were critically injured after a tour bus crashed in Garfield County, about three miles west of Bryce Canyon City.
The crash happened around noon Friday on State Route 12 at milepost 10. The bus was carrying a group of tourists from China.
Multiple troopers and emergency medical crews responded to the crash scene.
Utah Highway Patrol officials said 31 people were on the tour bus, including the Chinese American driver, when the bus drifted off the road while traveling eastbound on SR-12. The driver then overcorrected to the left and the bus rolled one time before, landing on a guardrail near Bryce Canyon National Park. The bus came to a stop on its wheels while blocking the westbound lane.
Three medical helicopters responded to the scene and officials said all passengers were transported to multiple area hospitals.
Officials with the Utah Highway Patrol said five people were in critical condition Friday night and several passengers were in stable condition with injuries ranging from minor to serious.
Intermountain Healthcare spokesperson Lance Madigan said 17 patients were transported to Intermountain Garfield Memorial Hospital in Panguitch, about 25 miles away.
He said three of the patients were in critical condition, 11 were in serious condition and another three were in fair condition. Information about their ages was not released.
Garfield County Sheriff Danny Perkins said other patients were taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, Kane County Hospital in Kanab, and Sevier Valley Hospital in Richfield.
Intermountain Healthcare officials said 10 people have been discharged from the Garfield Memorial and Sevier Valley hospitals.
Perkins said a responding firefighter speaks Chinese and was able to help with translation efforts along with employees from Ruby’s Inn.
Officials with the Chinese Embassy said they will be assisting victims from the crash and notifying families in China.
We are saddened to hear about the accident in Utah involving a bus carrying Chinese tourists. We are thankful to authorities in Utah for their assistance. The Embassy has initiated its emergency protocols, sent personnel to the area, and will assist the victims as needed. https://t.co/ad4oXrrHPd
— Chinese Embassy in US (@ChineseEmbinUS) September 20, 2019
Gov. Gary Herbert also expressed his condolences for those involved in the crash and thanked first responders for their work.
“My heart sank when I heard the news that a tour bus crashed near Bryce Canyon,” he said in a tweet. “I grieve with all who lost loved ones in this crash and I’m grateful for the quick work of first responders, as well as all those who are volunteering to act as translators.”
Officials with the Utah Department of Transportation reopened the roadway before 8 p.m.
Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board said they will be investigating the crash. A 10-person team will arrive in Utah Saturday to begin the investigation.