Dolan Springs, Ariz. — Heavy rains in Arizona are great risks to travelers along the roadways of Ariz as the case of a tour bus with around 33 passengers on board and bound for Las Vegas. The transport was carried away by waters flooding the roadways as the driver tried to go over a wash after the bus turned on its side.
Patrick Moore, chief of the Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District with some fire fighters in the scene said that luckily no passenger was harmed. The bus was coming home passing a country Arizona road after trekking to the west rim of Grand Canyon. The mishap took place on the 2nd day of heavy rains in northern Arizona.
Chris Stumpf, a National Weather Service forecaster in Las Vegas, stated that the area where the bus accident happened is receiving at least 0.75 inches of rain in that particular hour last Sunday afternoon. A warning of impending flash flood was in effect when the accident happened and the bus driver should not be around that area at that time.
Operations manager for Canyon Coach Lines Rhonda Ho said that the bus is owned by the Las Vegas-based company and tourists were returning from a sight-seeing trip for a day at the west rim of Grand Canyon. The driver, identified as Joseph Razon said that he saw a car right in front of him going through that section of the highway covered by some water, and if a car can go through it, a bus can go through it too.
But the bus was slammed by a rushing current of water that emanated out of nowhere so he found himself driving in almost neck-deep water and trying to control the bus while it was floating.
As the bus was being swept down by the flood of water, Razon decided it was not safe for the passengers to remain inside. So he intentionally tilted the bus against an embankment for it to stop and for passengers to escape through its roof. The passengers were able to climb out of the driver’s side windows and walked to dry land.
Ho stated that the driver was able to keep his cool and everybody got out safely. There was no hysteria on the bus as everyone did the right thing.
Razon is a very professional driver and does not have any spot on his record. He worked in the company since 2005.
Kingman is located near the Arizona-Nevada state line with a distance of around 100 miles SE of Las Vegas. Another bus was sent by the company to pick up the passengers. The bus passengers and driver returned on another bus to Las Vegas, where Ho was able to speak to the driver.
Another bus was sent by the company to pick up the passengers.
Due to the mishap, Arizona Department of Transportation decided to close the 18-mile length I-40 that Saturday night between Flagstaff and Kingman due to the flash flood.
Next day, a tow truck came to take away the bus that was lying on its side with grasses and other debris hanging from it. There were escape hatches opened on its roof were passengers passed to safety.
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Source: CNS News Com