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1 dead, 2 critically injured after tour bus crashes on way to Grand Canyon West

Staff and wire reports, Arizona Republic
·2 min read
A tour bus heading to Grand Canyon West  rolled and landed on its side near Dolan Springs on Jan. 22, 2021.
A tour bus heading to Grand Canyon West rolled and landed on its side near Dolan Springs on Jan. 22, 2021.

One person was killed and two others suffered critical injuries after a Las Vegas tour bus headed to Grand Canyon West crashed Friday afternoon near Dolan Springs, according to Mohave County sheriff's officials.

The crash was reported about 12:20 p.m. near Milepost 5 on Diamond Bar Road, sheriff's officials said in a news release. The bus, with 48 passengers on board including the driver, rolled and landed on its side.

One passenger was pronounced dead at the scene. The two critically injured passengers were taken to nearby hospitals.

“It was a heavily damaged bus, he slid down the road quite a ways, so there was a lot of wreckage,” Lake Mohave Ranchos Fire District Chief Tim Bonney told The Associated Press. Bonney was in the first fire unit that responded to the crash about 15 minutes after it happened. “Just to put it in perspective, on a scale of zero to 10, an eight.”

None of the passengers was ejected from the vehicle but they were all in shock, Bonney said. “A lot of them were saying the bus driver was driving at a high rate of speed,” Bonney said.

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The cause of the crash was not yet known, Anita Mortensen, a spokeswoman for the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, told the AP. It wasn't clear if any other vehicle was involved.

Seven less severely injured passengers and 33 others with minor injuries were taken to Kingman Regional Medical Center, sheriff's officials said.

The tour bus from Las Vegas was headed to Grand Canyon West, outside the boundaries of the national park, which sits on the Hualapai Reservation.

COPTER CRASH: NTSB: Wind likely caused Canyon crash that killed British tourists

John MacDonald, a spokesman for the Hualapai tribe, did not immediately have any further information. National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway said he didn’t immediately have more information about the crash or about NTSB involvement, according to AP.

Duane DeBruyne, Federal Motor Coach Safety Administration spokesperson, referred The Arizona Republic to local authorities for information.

Though Kingman Regional Medical Center has "a lot of COVID patients," the process for admitting the passengers was "under control" since most had just minor injuries, according to Teri Williams, a hospital spokesperson.

The Red Cross Central and Northern Arizona Chapter tweeted that it was aware of the bus crash near the Grand Canyon and was monitoring the situation.

In 2009, a tour bus carrying Chinese nationals overturned on U.S. 93 near the Hoover Dam, killing several people and injuring others. The group was returning from a trip to the Grand Canyon.

Republic reporters Michael McDaniel and Audrey Jensen and The Associated Press contributed to this article.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Tour bus headed to Grand Canyon West rolls over; 1 killed