5 Still in Critical Condition After Tour Bus Crash Near Bryce Canyon National Park
PANGUITCH, Utah – Federal investigators are now in Utah to begin investigating the cause of a deadly tour bus crash in Southern Utah.
Those investigators will be assisted by the Utah Highway Patrol.
Four people were killed when a tour bus rolled over just outside of Bryce Canyon National Park in Garfield County.
In all, there were 31 people on that bus including the driver.
All of them required medical attention.
12 people are still in two different hospitals, five of them in critical condition.
The driver of the bus is cooperating with investigators.
Garfield County Sheriff Danny Perkins credits volunteers who rushed to the scene Thursday when the call came in.
Sheriff Perkins says with the magnitude of severity of this crash, those volunteer firefighters and EMT’s might have saved several lives during an extremely chaotic situation.
“I think everybody is doing okay, but we’re going to have some stuff come up, some kind of after action type stuff and make sure there are no issues that way, but I think everybody is kind of coping with it,” said Sheriff Perkins.
This scenario is also one the county trains for because of the high number of tour buses that visit the area daily.
“This is something that’s not a total surprise to us, so we’ve talked about the possibilities of this happening,” said Sheriff Perkins. “You never really are prepared when it does happen, but on the other hand, we were kind of mentally prepared to some degree.”
That tour bus has been taken to a warehouse in Kanab where investigators will piece together what they can to figure out if there was a mechanic issue with the bus.
The names of the victims were released by UHP Saturday: Ling Geng female, 68; Xiuyun Chen, female, 67; Zhang Caiyu, female, 62 and Zhongliang Qui, male, 65, were all killed in the crash. They were all from Shanghai China.
In a statement on Twitter, the Chinese Embassy wrote,
We are deeply saddened to learn that the Utah #SR12BusCrash resulted in the demise of 4 Chinese nationals and the injury of an additional number of Chinese citizens, some of which remain in critical condition.
The Embassy extends its condolences to the families of the victims. We have mobilized our personnel and resources to assist them and all other Chinese nationals involved in this accident.
We express our gratitude to the local authorities in Utah and the volunteers who have provided their support. We will continue to work in close collaboration with them as needed.