Published July 29, 2013
A Las Vegas-bound tour bus carrying 33 people was swept away in northern Arizona by floodwaters Sunday and turned on its side as it tried to cross a wash amid heavy rains.
No one was injured. The bus was pushed down the wash for an estimated 300 yards before it turned on its side around 1:50 p.m. near Kingman, Ariz., said Patrick Moore, chief of the Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District, which had firefighters at the scene.
People inside the bus, which had left the Grand Canyon Skywalk glass bridge, climbed out the driver's side windows and walked onto the shore.
On Sunday evening, as a tow truck was preparing to take away the bus, it was lying on its side and had grass and other debris hanging from it. Two escape hatches on its roof were opened. Writing on the side of the bus said: "C.H. Destination" and "DBA: Canyon Coach Lines"
The passengers were no longer at the scene. The company had sent another bus to pick them up.
The crash happened as northern Arizona was hit with a second day of heavy rain.
Kingman is near the Arizona-Nevada stateline and about 100 miles southeast of Las Vegas.
The area where the bus accident occurred received 0.75 inches of rain in about an hour on Sunday afternoon, said Chris Stumpf, a National Weather Service forecaster in Las Vegas.
A flash flood warning was in effect when the accident occurred, he said, and the bus driver shouldn't have been driving through the area at the time.
"It was a really strong storm dumping quite a bit of rain ... and it caused flash flooding," Stumpf said. "They were driving on a portion of the road where they shouldn't have tried to drive across. They should not have been driving through there."
There were some swift-water rescues of stranded motorists Saturday night after a storm dropped nearly 2 inches of rain in about 90 minutes around Kingman, Stumpf said.
The flash flood warning around the accident scene has expired, he said, but there's a chance for more heavy rain and another similar warning on Monday.
The crash happened as Northern Arizona was hit with a second day of heavy rain.
The Arizona Department of Transportation closed an 18-mile stretch of Interstate-40 Saturday night between Flagstaff and Kingman because of the flash flooding.