CACTUS CITY, Calif. - A charter bus carrying a youth cheerleading team collided with a big rig that caught fire in the desert east of Indio Wednesday afternoon, three of the cheerleaders suffered minor injuries, authorities said.
Traffic was stopped for westbound traffic, and traffic slowed to a crawl on eastbound I-10.
Eastbound lanes were reopened just before 8 p.m. but all westbound lanes remained closed for several hours following.
Westbound drivers were being allowed to pass through the right-hand shoulder until lanes were ready to be reopened.
According to authorities at the scene, three cheerleaders and the driver of the big rig were taken to Desert Regional Medical Center with minor injuries. According to CHP, the three cheerleaders suffered minor injuries. The driver of the bus suffered no injuries.
The driver of the big rig managed to escape before the truck became fully engulfed in flames.
The crash was reported just east of Cactus City at about 4:15 p.m. There were about 30 passengers on the charter bus, heading home to Arizona from a cheerleading competition at UCLA.
The big rig blocked westbound lanes, causing traffic to back up in the area. Lanes were shut down for three hours.
A SunLine Transit Agency bus was sent to pick up the stranded bus passengers.
CHP issued a SigAlert for the westbound lanes, which were completely blocked by the wreckage. Authorities also blocked the left eastbound lane to allow smoother access for emergency vehicles.
This collision is still under investigation. Neither drugs nor alcohol are considered to be a factor in the collision.
This was the second crash that occurred Wednesday near Chiriaco Summit. The other crash in the area led to five people being injured, including one who had to be airlifted to the hospital.