A pickup truck slammed into a tour bus on Interstate 15 on Saturday morning near Baker, Calif., leaving one person dead and six injured and causing officials to close the northbound highway, halting all traffic heading toward Las Vegas.
California Highway Patrol Officer Don Spiker said officials are investigating why the pickup truck driver, who was traveling southbound on I-15 near Zzyzx Road about 10 miles southwest of Baker, crossed the center divider. The pickup truck rolled over the dirt median, crossed into northbound lanes and struck the tour bus at a 45-degree angle, bursting into flames.
The driver of the pickup was killed. The driver of the tour bus suffered a major leg laceration and was flown to a Las Vegas hospital. Five passengers on the bus suffered minor injuries and were to be transported to area hospitals.
Spiker said he believed the tour bus was traveling from the Los Angeles area, most likely to Las Vegas, but officials were still gathering information and did not immediately have the name of the tour bus company. Spiker said it could be hours before the freeway is reopened.
All northbound vehicles are being stopped at Afton Road, about 20 miles south of the accident, and directed back to Barstow. Spiker said motorists could take a long detour to get around the accident by taking I-40 from Barstow to Kelbaker Road, and driving through the Mojave National Preserve to Baker, where they could pick up Interstate 15 north of the accident.