At least 37 people were killed and more than 84 injured when three buses and a truck collided early Monday on Peru's main coastal highway.

Police chief Gen. Jorge Flores said the most seriously injured were helicoptered to Lima from the scene in Huarmey some 200 miles north of the capital.

Police say a bus owned by the company Murga Serrano strayed into the oncoming lane and slammed head-on into the first of the other two buses. The truck then plowed into the wreckage.

Survivors said it took emergency crews about three hours to reach the scene, according to local media. The government sent five medical specialists to Huarmey to help the small clinic there care for the injured.

It was Peru's deadliest road accident since October 2013, when 51 people were killed near Cuzco when an overloaded truck fell into a ravine.