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1 dead, more than 20 hurt in church bus collision on snowy embankment [Updated]

February 21, 2011 |  2:49 pm


One person was killed and 23 others hurt when a school bus belonging to a church collided with another vehicle on a mountain road near Twin Peaks and ran down a snow-covered embankment.

Crews spent several hours Monday afternoon getting trapped passengers out of the bus, which hit a tree and electrical pole as it careened down the embankment. The front of the bus showed signs of significant damage.

The San Bernardino County's coroner's office was on the scene on Highway 189, and the injured were being sent to hospitals.

[Updated, 4:15 p.m.: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that two people were killed in the accident. But authorities later confirmed that only one person had died.]

A man and a woman were in the vehicle that struck the bus, said Arden Wiltshire, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

The man was reported to have sustained minor injuries, and the woman was extricated with major injuries, Wiltshire said.

Highway 189 is closed between Strawberry Peak and Pinecrest Road for the investigation, officials said.

Seven teenagers involved in the bus crash have been taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, authorities said. One was listed in critical condition and one was in stable condition, hospital nurses said. The condition of the other five was not immediately available.

Loma Linda Medical Center is expecting to receive victims.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Bill Peters, in an interview with KCAL-TV, called the accident a "mass casualty event" with  24 people injured.


Photos: Bus crashes in mountains near Crestline

Bus crash victims removed from the scene

Teenagers trapped inside school bus after it collides with vehicle in San Bernardino Mountains

-- Catherine Saillant and Nate Jackson

Photo: The bus came to a stop against several trees. Credits: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times (top); KTLA (bottom