A bus carrying visitors from Yosemite National Park crashed on a main highway south of the park, leaving 16 people injured, the California Highway Patrol said today. The bus was about 40 miles south of the park when it went off Highway 41 and over and embankment about 6pm yesterday. The patrol's Merced dispatch office described it as a minor injury crash, and said the 16 people were taken to local hospitals. The bus was carrying 16 mostly elderly passengers and a driver when the crash occurred near local road 630.
The bus was apparently returning from a visit to the park when the bus driver, who was traveling about 40 mph, lost control of the bus. Patrol Sgt. Edward Greene said the bus rolled onto an embankment and several passengers were thrown to the driver's side of the bus. It eventually came to a stop after hitting a tree. "If the tree wasn't there to stop the bus, it would have continued down the ravine," Greene said. The bus driver was the only one who was not hurt.