Tom Smart, Deseret News
WENDOVER, Nev. — The driver of a tour bus was killed and five passengers injured when the vehicle crashed into the back of a maintenance truck that was slowing to pull into the median on I-80 Monday night.
The auger truck was digging holes for barriers about 35 miles east of Wendover and had its auger drill raised as it drove, said Brady Warnock, a member of the maintenance team.
The bus driver was reportedly impaled by the auger when the bus slammed into the back of the truck.
"The bus swerved out of the right lane to pass a car," said Warnock, who was driving the vehicle ahead of the auger truck. "I guess they didn't notice the brake lights or anything, and smacked into the back of the drill truck. I heard the tires squealing, which was a little scary."
Warnock said the maintenance truck had its hazard lights on, and the auger was marked with orange. It was still daylight at the time.
The crash occurred about 5:40 p.m. as the Le Bus vehicle carrying about 50 people was headed back to Salt Lake City from Wendover, the Utah Highway Patrol reported.
Two passengers sitting directly behind the driver were taken by medical helicopter to a Salt Lake hospital in critical condition, said UHP Lt. Corey Nye. Three others were transported by ambulance with injuries that weren't life-threatening.
The maintenance truck was in the left lane when it began to slow, and the bus was unable to stop in time, Nye confirmed. The bus pushed the truck, leaving skid marks for about 150 feet.
Troopers remained on scene Monday night to clean up and investigate the accident, keeping eastbound traffic restricted to one lane. Traffic delays dissipated as the number of drivers decreased through the night.
The name of the driver was not immediately released Monday.
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