1 Dead, 24 Injured In Bus Accident Near Lake Gregory

LAKE GREGORY (CBS) — A church bus with up to 20 teens aboard slid over the side of a highway in a Southern California ski area after colliding with a county fire vehicle.


UPDATES:

According to CHP Officer Mario Lopez, the bus plunged down a ravine about 50 feet and sheered off a power pole before hitting the tree.

Authorities have not given any information on the fatality, but the tree impacted the bus on the driver’s side, and church officials told CBS2 that the driver — a male church volunteer — was the one confirmed fatality.

Many on the bus were middle school students who had been at Pinecrest, a Christian camp along Highway 189 near Twin Peaks. Ten were seriously injured and 13 had minor to moderate injuries,
according to CBS2.
An off-duty firefighter and his wife who were in a red SUV fire vehicle that collided with the bus were also injured, according to CBS2.  Witnesses said there was “blood everywhere.”  The response to the crash involved 11 ambulances, nine fire trucks and four helicopters, plus a throng of media.

EARLIER TODAY

The accident happened just before noon on Highway 189, just north of Lake Gregory.

Officials with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection say the bus was heading down the mountain and collided with a vehicle before it when off Highway 189, clipped several power poles and went into trees in a snowy area.

Authorities are now saying only one person was killed in the accident and about 24 others have been injured.

He says the bus fell about 20 feet over the side of the road after colliding with a San Bernardino County Fire Department vehicle and a power pole.

Peters tells KCAL9 that the bus belonged to Pasadena-based Light of Love Mission Church.

The accident occurred in an area popular with skiers about 70 miles east of Los Angeles.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. chris cornelius says:

    i know a derrick bell i hope he’ ok he goes to my school

  2. jim says:

    lord bless those kids in jesus name

  3. PATTYBARKER says:

    I LIVED ON THE MOUNTAIN ITS TO DANGEROUS FOR A BUS TO DRIVE ON ICEY ROADS. IF DRIVER IS NOT EXPERIENCED ON SUCH ROADS. GOD BLESS ALL AND THE FAMILIES AT THIS TIME OF SORROW.

  4. Katie says:

    Praying for all the passengers in this terrible accident.

  5. Kimberly Eazell says:

    My daughter just got home from Crestline. They passed the crash. But for an hour I was on the phone with CHP trying to find out what church group it was. It was not, I repeat WAS NOT Christ Presbyterian in Fountain Vallley. Thank God.
    Thank you Lord for watching over my girl and here friends and praying for those parents who don’t know right now what is going on.
    CHP could tell me nothing and told me to call back in 2 hours. Good Lord.
    Kim in the OC

    1. Eric says:

      Hope this comment was written in a way so that it doesn’t feel like “Thank God it was them, not us!” sorta feel…Or if you have added something to console those involved in this awful accident, it wouldn’t gave that sort of felling. IMHO

      1. Eric says:

        Thought I correct a typo “feeling” before someone starts to go on about spell check.

      2. Kimberly Eazell says:

        ERIC,
        No way in hell was my comment meant as Thank God it wasn’t my daughter. My husband and I went through Hell for an hour till all of a sudden I got a text from my daughter. The youth minster was on the bus, Past all their phones back to them and said text or call your parents NOW. For an hour they didn’t know if it was one of their 2 buses that left an hour earlier. It was not and I don’t wish this on any parent or child. I feel very Thank and sad for those who went through this too. The way life has gone lately, we as a family didn’t need another tragedy. My father passed Nov. 24th and my husbands father Dec. 18th. So my husband, myself and my girls have to hell and back the last 3 months. Take care and all my prayers are with this man who passed and all the kids and their families on that bus.
        Kim E
        of the OC

    2. Dina McKibben says:

      Dear Kimberly…I read your post and thought immediatly that you were paniced, and were relieved and thankful to learn your daughter was safe…..you also expressed concern to the parents who were uncertain of their children’s welfare. I saw nothing wrong with your post! I felt your pain….God Bless You Dear Lady!

      1. Kimberly Eazell says:

        Thanks Dina. And as soon as my daughter texted me. I called the CHP back and told them is was not my daughter’s bus and where the church was at and what camp. Just in case another parent from the church called. It was the least I could do.
        Thanks

  6. Linda says:

    I live on the mountain, not far from the crash. Very scary roads when someone is not experienced, and that road, called Lake Gregory Drive, is extremely deceptive. The sun is oftern not hitting the road because of tall trees, it’s very curvy and black ice is everywhere. So sad for the victims and familes.

    1. K.A. Brydon says:

      Both roads, Lake Gregory Drive and also Hwy 189 are treacherous right after a snowfall… because of budget cuts… Prayers around for all involved…

  7. Cindy says:

    This is NOT, I repeat NOT a ski area! The nearest one would be in Running Springs 17 miles away

    1. Dina McKibben says:

      The whole mountain area is considered a ski area.

  8. Carol says:

    They were leaving a retreat at Pine Crest Camp. So far, I haven’t been able to confirm if the two dead are from the church or from one of the vehicles. Prayers for all.

    Ironically, the same group that owns Pine Crest wanted to build a new camp for seveal hundred teens across the road. After much outcry from mountain residents about how unsuitable the roads were for heavy bus traffice, the plan was dropped.

    1. Linda says:

      Carol, the reports that I have seen said the dead are passengers, and I do hope that is wrong, because that would mean children

  9. Linda says:

    Ooops, you are right, KA, 189 feeds into Lake Gregory, sorry about that. But, yep, 189 is very shady and dangerous, too. Black ice everywhere.

  10. Dina McKibben says:

    What a tragedy I will pray for the families of the poor children and hope with all my heart this kind of disaster does not happen again. God Bless all involved!!!

  11. julieta cg says:

    I feel very sad for the person that died and his/her family. Also, the teenagers in the accident are alive by the grace of Jesus Christ. This will change their lives and I hope that its for the best. I live a few blocks from where their church is and they seem like a very united community and have barbecues on their church lawn. I will pray for them.

  12. Cheol C. says:

    I have seen the bus in repair recently at Tujunga. I believe the faulty repairs have been the problem and police should investigate. KCAL can email me for more questions.

  13. EXAMPLE OF GOVERNMENT WASTE!! says:

    Why does the County allow OFF-DUTY employees to drive work vehicles when they’re Off?

    Shouldn’t they be investigated for abusing their privilege?? TAX PAYERS are paying for the maintenance, wear & tear, gas, etc.. on that City/County own property.

    The OFF-DUTY FIREFIGHTER SHOULD HAVE HIS OWN PERSONAL VEHICLE FOR LEISURE TIME OFF AND NOT BE ALLOWED TO DRIVE WORK VEHICLES WHEN HE’S OFF-DUTY.

    1. Dina McKibben says:

      I have paid taxes for over 35 years and it would bring me great pleasure to know a firefighter uses my tax dollars for a bit of fuel in the company truck on his own time:):):)

      1. Dina McKibben says:

        ABSOLUTE GREAT PLEASURE>>>>HONESTLY>

  14. drozone69 says:

    I agree with the above post.Something is afoul here in regarsd to an off duty fireman in a department sfety vehicle with his wife?He needs to be immediatly drug tested via blood sample.How does one get a company car in which to transport you spouse in?

  15. FIRED THE OFF-DUTY FIREFIGHTER says:

    Fire the OFF-DUTY Firefighter for using an Emergency vehicle in a Non-Emergency situation.

    I hope people are MAD enuff to file a complaint with the City/County so there’s an investigation & hope that guy gets loses his job for using work vehicle.

    SAME SITUATION WITH THE GLENDALE POLICE DEPARTMENT WHEN 3 COPS WERE FIRED LAST MONTH FOR USING THEIR PATROL CARS TO GOTO LAS VEGAS THIS PAST NEW YEARS.

    FIRE THAT FIREFIGHTER. I HOPE THE VICTIMS OF THIS BUS CRASH SUES THE CITY/COUNTY FOR LETTING THEIR OFF-DUTY EMPLOYEES USE WORK VEHICLES FOR PERSONAL USE.

    FIRE THAT STUPID SOB.

    1. Dina McKibben says:

      The off duty fireman did nothing wrong…..NOTHING!!!!! For God’s sake it was a terrible ACCIDENT…..leave the poor man alone…he and his wife were hurt!

  16. OFF-DUTY EMPLOYEE USING EMERGENCY WORK VEHICLE says:

    Someone needs to file complaints to the Government on behalf of the Victims of this horrible accident against the Firefighter for using Emergency vehicle for his OFF-DUTY personal use.

  17. Annoyed says:

    Before you start crying and throwing a fit … The Firefighter was NOT driving a county vehicle. He was driving his OWN (Personal) Vehicle. Now go whine about something else and save us all the headache… jeeze

  18. Cindy says:

    Typical mountain attitudes…Go back to ROTWhinerville….

  19. Eric says:

    How come they’re not showing any pirctures/videos of the other vehicle where off duty firefighter was driving? I sense some sort of cover up….They should somehow took a picture of that car where it was at the time of the crash. I tried find all over internet and couldn’t find a single image of the car.

    1. Kim F. says:

      The San Bernardino County Fire Battalion Chief and his wife were in their own (hint: NOT RED ) family SUV. It was clearly pictured in the 3:00 Channel 2 news report that reporter Greg Mills did. Whoever at these news stations can’t and won’t get their “facts” straight should be fired. Not the Battalion Chief and his wife who by the way are or should be up for a citizen of the year award here in our mountain community.

  20. Berbue says:

    someone needs to investigate exactly where the vehicle driving east on 189 was when the bus that was driving west came into view at that point in the highway. that particular turn is very sharp and cars going east need to stay away from the center line… which they do not do at any time. I have seen the sheriffs cars drive to close to the center line on that highway.

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