Inmates, Officers Hurt In Prison Bus Crash

A bus carrying prisoners crashed in the north county Wednesday afternoon, sending everyone on board to the hospital.

The California Highway Patrol said it happened about 1 p.m. at the intersection of Highway 43 and Garces Highway, north of Delano.

The Fresno Sheriff's Department prisoner transportation bus was heading north at 55 mph, and had the right of way when, officers said, a big rig that had stopped at the stop sign turned in front of it.

The bus hit the rig's trailer, breaking all the glass in the front of the bus, smashing the door and making the bus completely immobile in the middle of the intersection.

All five people on board were wearing their seat belts, but they were all complaining of pain, officers said.

"Everybody was complaining of pain to arms, legs, shoulders, nothing major," said Officer Ryan Smith with the CHP. "There were seat belts on there, just the impact was pretty severe."

The bus's brakes were locked up, so it took fire crews a while to get the bus to move out of the middle of the highway. Not even a push from a CHP patrol car would get it to budge.

Traffic was diverted for about an hour while crews cleaned up the site.

Deputy patrol cars were called in to securely transport the inmates to the hospital.

The big rig driver stayed at the scene, and officers said he will likely not be cited for the crash.

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