GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. – A bus carrying Chinese tourists flipped on its side on a busy highway in Grand Teton National Park, and eight of the people on board remained hospitalized Friday, officials said.
The other 19 people on the bus were taken to a hospital and released after the crash Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
Two of the victims were airlifted to a medical centre in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and were listed in fair condition Friday, a hospital spokesman said. Six were admitted to hospital in Jackson, Wyoming. They were in good or fair condition, a spokeswoman said.
Park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said most of the passengers were from China. She didn’t know what other countries the passengers might be from but said all were from Asia.
No other vehicles were involved in the crash, which occurred on U.S. 89 north of Colter Bay Village on Jackson Lake.
Authorities believe the 33-foot-long bus went off the pavement and the driver overcorrected, causing the bus to flip on its side and slide, Skaggs said. She didn’t know how far it slid.
The wreck closed U.S. 89 for about five hours. The highway runs north-south through the park and connects Grand Teton with Yellowstone National Park to the north. It reopened at 9:20 p.m., Skaggs said.
This is the busiest time of year for Grand Teton and the heavily travelled highway, she said.
The bus driver was among those taken to the Jackson hospital. It was not immediately known if he had been discharged. His name wasn’t released.
Park rangers and the Wyoming Highway Patrol were investigating the crash. Skaggs said no charges had been filed.
She said the bus was bound for Yellowstone.
The driver stayed with the vehicle until all the passengers had been attended to and was taken to the hospital by a park ranger, she said.