MCSO: Fatal rollover crash involving tour bus was headed to Grand Canyon West
DOLAN SPRINGS, Ariz. - Mohave County authorities expect to release updated information Monday about last week’s tour bus crash that killed one person and injured dozens of others, including five seriously.
The Las Vegas-based bus rolled over Friday in northwestern Arizona while headed to a Grand Canyon viewpoint on the Hualapai Reservation.
The cause of the crash wasn’t immediately determined and no information was available about the vehicle’s speed before the crash.
County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Anita Mortensen said Sunday that a press release with updated information on the crash was expected to be released sometime Monday afternoon after she is briefed by investigators.
There were 48 people on the bus, including the driver, authorities said. After the crash, 44 people were sent to Kingman Regional Medical Center, including two flown by medical helicopter, spokeswoman Teri Williams said. All the others were treated for minor injuries, she said.
Kingman Regional Medical Center officials said three people who were seriously injured in the crash remain hospitalized while 40 others have been treated and released.
Two other seriously injured patients have been transferred to an unspecified Las Vegas hospital.
No identities have been released and it wasn’t immediately known whether the passengers were in a group.
The bus was heading to Grand Canyon West, about 2 1/2 hours from Las Vegas and outside the boundaries of the national park. The tourist destination sits on the Hualapai reservation and is best known for the Skywalk, a glass bridge that juts out 70 feet (21 meters) from the canyon walls and gives visitors a view of the Colorado River 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) below.
Before the pandemic, about 1 million people a year visited Grand Canyon West, mostly through tours booked out of Las Vegas. The Hualapai reservation includes 108 miles (174 kilometers) of the Grand Canyon's western rim. In addition to the Skywalk, it has helicopter tours, horseback rides and a one-day whitewater rafting trip on the Colorado River.
The Hualapai reservation also has a road to the Colorado River where rafters who have permits through the national park can get on and off trips.
It's also near where four Chinese nationals died in 2016 when their van collided with a Dallas Cowboys staff bus headed to a preseason promotional stop in Las Vegas.
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 Grand Canyon.
Federal investigators cited driver inattention as the probable cause of the crash. The bus driver was attempting to fix a problem with airflow through his door before the crash and became distracted, then veered off the road and overcorrected before crossing a median and overturning. Most of the passengers were ejected. The tour guide and six Chinese tourists were killed.
John MacDonald, a spokesman for the Hualapai tribe, did not immediately have any further information about Friday's wreck. National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway said he didn't immediately have more details about the crash or about NTSB involvement.
A spokeswoman for Grand Canyon West did not immediately return messages seeking more information.