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NTSB Gives Update On Fatal Bryce Canyon Tour Bus Crash

(Photo courtesy Ben Tidswell, Chopper 5 pilot).

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — National Transportation Safety Board investigators issued a preliminary report for a tour bus crash that killed four people near Bryce Canyon National Park in September on Thursday.

Officials said there were no defects in the bus that could account for the driver’s loss of control but all aspects of the crash are still under investigation.

The bus was carrying 30 passengers, all Chinese nationals, when it crashed on state Route 12 about three miles from the park on Sept. 20.

“For unknown reasons, the bus went off the right side of the roadway,” NTSB officials said in the report. The driver then turned left to get back onto the roadway before veering sharply to the right after crossing into opposing traffic’s lane, when it rolled.

“As it rolled over, the bus’s roof struck the guardrail next to the westbound lane, significantly crushing the roof,” NTSB officials said.

Investigators said 11 passengers were completely ejected and two were partially ejected during the rollover.

Four passengers were killed while 15 suffered serious injuries. Eleven passengers and the driver suffered minor injuries.

Three medical helicopters responded to the scene and officials said all passengers were transported to multiple area hospitals.

Bryce Canyon was the tour’s final stop before its scheduled end in Salt Lake City. The seven-day tour began in Los Angeles.

Investigators said all seats were equipped with seat belts and passengers’ use of the restraints is being examined.

NTSB investigators are working with the Utah Highway Patrol to compile a complete and accurate account of the crash.

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