MEXICAN HAT A charter bus carrying people from a Colorado ski resort ran off a wet road and rolled several times down an embankment in far southeastern Utah, killing eight passengers and injuring about 20 others, authorities said Monday.
The Arrow Stage Lines bus was southbound on State Route 163 when it failed to negotiate a curve and dropped 41 feet off an embankment Sunday, said Trooper Cameron Roden of the Utah Highway Patrol.
"When the vehicle was overturning, the roof of the bus split open and multiple occupants of the vehicle were ejected," he said.
The driver survived with minor injuries, he said.
A woman who answered the phone at Arrow Stage Lines headquarters in Omaha, Neb., early Monday said no one would be available to answer questions until later in the morning.
Roden said the bus was en route to Phoenix after a ski trip to Telluride, Colo.
A manifest showed 51 passengers were on board the bus when it crashed about 10 miles north of Mexican Hat, in the Four Corners region where Utah meets Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. Rescue crews from all four states were sent to help.
The closest hospital was 80 miles north in Monticello. San Juan Hospital received more than 20 people, chief executive Craig Preston said. Ten to 13 still were being evaluated while others with more serious injuries were sent elsewhere.
"We had some pretty severe stuff," he said.
University of Utah Hospital sent a helicopter and a plane to bring two people to Salt Lake City, spokesman Chris Nelson said. He had no information on their conditions.
The region's isolation and the winter weather slowed aid efforts Sunday. A helicopter from Colorado could not take off because of winter storms. Cell phone service was not available in the area, Roden said.
A bus went to the crash site to transport passengers who weren't badly injured.
The cause of the 7:30 p.m. Sunday crash was unclear. Investigators at the scene said the road was wet from light rain.