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16 injured in bus crash on Calif. mountain road

| Sunday, April 14, 2013, 8:06 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO — A tour bus carrying visitors from Yosemite National Park was traveling at an unsafe speed when the driver lost control and crashed on a mountain road, the California Highway Patrol said on Sunday. Sixteen people were injured.

The bus was about six miles outside of the south entrance of the park when it went off Highway 41, a winding mountain road, and crashed about 6 p.m. Saturday. It came to a stop when it struck a tree, Officer Scott Jobinger said.

Fifteen passengers, described as mostly elderly, and a tour guide suffered minor to moderate injuries. They were taken to local hospitals.

“At this point ,the cause was the bus was traveling at unsafe speed and went off the road,” Jobinger said. The accident remains under investigation to determine whether other factors played a role, he said.

Sgt. Edward Green told The Fresno Bee that the impact of the crash caused several passengers to be thrown to the driver's side of the bus, with the vehicle stopping when it hit the tree.

“If the tree wasn't there to stop the bus, it would have continued down the ravine,” Green said.

The bus driver, identified as Changefeng Liu, 49, of Fremont, Calif., was the only person on the bus who was not hurt. He has not been arrested, and alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash.

The scenic highway has sharp curves where speed limits drop to 35 mph, Jobinger said.

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