Calif. Church Bus Crashes, More Than 2 Dozen Injured - NBC4 Washington
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Calif. Church Bus Crashes, More Than 2 Dozen Injured



    Church Trip Ends After Bus Rollover Crash

    Hugs and tears greeted the 22 aboard a bus that crashed on the way tp a church retreat in Big Bear. Marin Austin reports for the NBC4 News at 11 on Sunday, May 22, 2016. (Published Monday, May 23, 2016)

    More than two dozen people were taken to the hospital Sunday after a church bus traveling from a women's retreat in Big Bear crashed in the San Bernardino Mountains, officials said. 

    The crash was reported shortly after 2 p.m. on Highway 330 north of Highland when the bus sideswiped a wall, according to the California Highway Patrol. The bus then rear-ended a Nissan Versa, CHP said. 

    When crews arrived, the shuttle bus was on its side, and women inside were screaming for help, CHP said.

    San Bernardino County Fire officials initially said more than 20 people suffered injuries and six were seriously hurt.

    But CHP, which took over the investigation, later said out of the 22 on the bus, 21 were taken to the hospital and four have major injuries. None are life-threatening.

    "I just recognized the bus and I was like, oh my gosh that’s from my church!" Sarahin Gurrola, church member, said after seeing the crash on news reports.

    Highway 330 was shut down from Highland Avenue to City Creek Ranger Station, fire officials said.

    The California Highway Patrol was investigating the bus' brakes after the crash on the narrow road with blind turns. 

    A spokesman from the Iglesia De Cristo Ministerios Llamada Final church in Downey said about 200 women were aboard six buses total heading to Big Bear for a yearly retreat.

    The one that crashed was the last in the caravan. No one on the other buses saw what happened.

    Parishioners were calling the driver of the bus a "hero" because of how she handled the bus after striking a wall.

    "I think she’s a hero, I look up to her," Lesly Ortega said.

    Ortega was on the bus when the crash occured, and said the driver steered the bus away from a cliff. She also said if a large rock hadn't been there to stop them, they may have gone over.

    John Cádiz Klemack contributed to this report.