PUEBLO, Colo. – The Colorado State Patrol said two people are dead and several injured following a crash involving a charter bus that was transporting 10 children and five adults on Interstate 25 near Pueblo Sunday afternoon.
The bus, carrying a group from a New Mexico Catholic organization, was traveling southbound when it veered off the highway and struck part of a bridge embankment structure around 2:30 p.m. near mile marker 109, about 10 miles north of Pueblo.
The 36-year-old male bus driver and another person, identified by the Archdiocese of Santa FeSeminarians as Jason Paul Marshall, were killed in the crash. The 13 other passengers suffered injuries ranging from minor to critical, State Patrol Sgt. Blake White said during a Sunday evening briefing.
State Patrol Cpl. Ivan Alvarado said the unidentified driver might have suffered a medical incident, possibly a seizure. He was ejected from the bus when it veered west off the roadway and struck the dirt embankment, Alvarado said. The front of the bus sustained significant damage, leading to the two deaths, he said.
Denver7's news partner KOAA-TV reported that three people injured in the crash were released from Parkview Medical Center. However, three others remain hospitalized — one in critical condition and two in good and fair conditions, the Pueblo hospital told the station.
The Associated Press reports that another four passengers were treated and released from St. Mary Corwin Medical Center Sunday. One person is still being cared for at St. Mary Corwin. One other passenger is being treated at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs.
The group on the bus were from the Aquinas Newman Center at the University of New Mexico. They were returning home to New Mexico from the Steubenville of the Rockies Catholic conference in Denver when the crash occurred.
The Denver Archdiocese released the following statement:
“We offer our prayers tonight for everyone involved in the tragic bus accident this afternoon near Pueblo. We especially send our prayers and deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who were killed, and our prayers for healing and comfort for those who were injured.”
The CSP said three medical helicopters responded and dozens of ambulance and fire crews transported occupants of the bus to hospitals. Authorities said five people had to be extricated from the wreckage.
Authorities closed one lane of traffic in the area, causing extensive backups in both directions.