On Friday, a tour bus crash near Bryce Canyon left four people dead and at least 30 people injured, according to KUTV. The extent of those injuries is unknown at this time.
The bus struck a guard rail and rolled over the barrier on September 20.
“Troopers are en route to a tour bus crash near Bryce Canyon on SR-12. Multiple Air ambulances and rescue crews have been dispatched. We will update as more information comes in. Please avoid the area and let first responders work,” Utah Highway Patrol tweeted shortly after the crash was reported.
Bryce Canyon National Park is located in southern Utah. The popular tourist destination is known for its spire-shaped rock formations.
The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that the crash happened just over three miles west of the park. State Road 12 is a mountainous road that stretches from Torrey to the edge of the park.
Garfield County Sheriff Danny Perkins suggests that the bus was full when the vehicle crashed after careening off the road.
KSL added that at least four people died following the crash as emergency services raced to the point of impact near the national park. At this time, the cause of the crash is unknown and there is no report regarding the other vehicles that were involved.
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Yesterday’s sunset felt like a dream. The soft and delicate hues of the Claron Formation, as seen from Sunrise Point, came to life as a smokey haze from the nearby Little Bear Fire drifted through the main Bryce Amphitheater. Regardless of the smoke, last nights telescope viewing was a huge success. We’d like to thank everyone who participated in yesterday’s #internationaldarksky celebration, and encourage anyone who missed out to visit our website to see what activities will line up with your next trip (km). https://www.nps.gov/brca/planyourvisit Photo: NPS/Keith Moore
It has now been confirmed that the people on the bus were Chinese speaking tourists, according to Garfield County Commissioner Leland Pollock, who says that this crash has been shocking.
“This is pretty overwhelming for a little county of 4,900 people,” he said. “This is just horrible for us, and we feel terrible for those who are injured and their families.”
He added that the bus went off the road between Bryce Canyon Pines and the top of Red Canyon.
This is the second major bus crash in the nation this week. The tour bus carrying the road crew for gospel and country singer, Josh Turner was in an accident that occurred on Wednesday night. A handful of people were injured, and one person died following his concert in Paso Robles, located in California’s wine country.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the crew’s bus veered off the highway near Shandon and jumped over a steep embankment. Two people were reportedly thrown from the bus, one of whom perished in the accident. The driver was removed from the bus and airlifted to a Freno, California, hospital.
A truck driver who witnessed the crash suggested that the tour bus was traveling between 60 and 65 mph at the time of the accident. The speed limit in the area was designated at 55 mph.
On their website, the National Park Service describes Bryce Canyon as boasting the largest concentration of hoodoos (irregular columns of rock) found anywhere on earth, with “red rocks, pink cliffs, and endless vistas.” The source said that the eight months, from March through October, are the best months for a visit to this part of the nation.
Bryce Canyon does not constitute a single canyon, but rather a series of bowls or amphitheaters carved out of rock and filled with hoodoos. The most famous is the Bryce Amphitheater.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.