Authorities said a Las Vegas-based tour bus bound for the Grand Canyon overturned in northwest Arizona, killing one person and seriously injuring two others.
A spokeswoman for the Mojave County Police Office said the cause of the plane wreckage was not yet known, but the fire official who responded said speed appeared to be a factor. They shared any other vehicles.
It was a badly damaged bus. “It slipped all the way along, so there was a lot of debris,” said Tim Bonnie, county president of Lake Mohave Ranchus Fire. “Just to put it in perspective, on a scale of zero to 10, and eight.”
No passengers were taken out of the car, Bonnie said, but all were shocked.
“Many of them said that the bus driver was driving at high speed,” he said.
A photo from the mayor’s office showed the bus on its side on a road bending through Joshua trees with no snow or rain in the remote area.
The authorities said that the bus was carrying 48 people, including the driver. Spokeswoman Terry Williams said that after the accident, 44 people were dispatched to Kingman Regional Medical Center, including two who were taken by medical helicopter. She said all of the others were treated for minor injuries.
Anita Mortensen, a spokeswoman for the mayor of Mohave County, said two people were seriously injured.
The bus was heading to Grand Canyon West, about two and a half hours from Las Vegas and outside the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park. The tourist destination is located in the Hualapai Reserve and is known for its Skywalk, a glass bridge that juts 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 a million people were visiting the Grand Canyon West, most of them through booked tours from Las Vegas. The Hualapai Reserve includes 108 miles (174 kilometers) of the Grand Canyon’s western edge.
In addition to the Skywalk, the tribe makes helicopter tours on its grounds, horse rides, a historic guano mine, and a one-day white-water kayaking excursion on the Colorado River. Rafters trekking across the Grand Canyon can go up and down the river upon reservation.
In a statement released, the Hualapai tribe and its affiliates said they were distressed by the extension and that safety was the top priority for guests, employees, and vendors.
“As a people, our hearts go out to those who have been severely affected,” the statement read. “We wish a speedy recovery to those who need medical care.”
National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway said he did not immediately have further details about the accident. The agency does not send investigators for all bus accidents.
There have been other fatal accidents in the region before.
Four Chinese died in 2016 when their truck collided with a Dallas Cowboys employee bus bound for a pre-season promotional stop in Las Vegas.
In 2009, a tourist bus carrying Chinese citizens capsized a US Flight 93 near the Hoover Dam, killing several people and wounding others. The group was returning from a Grand Canyon expedition.
Federal investigators indicated that the driver’s lack of attention was a possible cause of the accident. The bus driver was trying to fix the problem of air flowing through his door before collision and became distracted, then veered off and right before crossing the midfield and overturning. Most of the passengers were expelled.