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GarrettDavis/Daily News
Utah Highway Patrol troopers Lt. Steven Esplin, left, and Sgt. David Bairett collect belongings from a tour bus Thursday near Bryce Canyon National Park. The bus, carrying 55 people, left the roadway, tumbled down an embankment and caught fire.

The Utah Highway Patrol has cited the driver of a tour bus that crashed and caught fire near Bryce Canyon, injuring a group of teenagers on board.

"(Investigators) feel it was going to be driver error," UHP trooper Cameron Roden said Friday. "He was not paying attention and went off the shoulder of the road and lost control."

The driver was cited for failure to operate within a single lane, the UHP said.

The crash happened about noon Thursday on state Route 12 in Red Canyon. Troopers said the bus left the roadway and tumbled down an embankment, landing on its top and catching fire. Everyone managed to escape the blaze.

The bus was ferrying 47 teenagers and six counselors as part of a tour group going from Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon National Park. They were all from the east coast, authorities said. The tour bus, part of the Rein Teen Tours, was based out of New Jersey, authorities said.

Garfield County Sheriff's spokeswoman Becki Bronson said some of the teens were knocked unconscious in the crash, but none of their injuries were life-threatening.

"Some of the injured are reported to be wearing neck braces, back braces or bandages, but no broken bones or puncture wounds were reported to the sheriff's office," she said in an e-mail.


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