A school bus carrying a church group from the Los Angeles area collided with a moving truck and another, smaller school bus in the northern section of San Diego County.
A driver and a child were transported to a nearby hospital following the collision on Valley Center Road near State Route 76 in Pauma Valley. The area is just north of Escondido.
The two school buses and U-Haul were all a part of the same church group, which was returning home from camp. Authorities said there were 35 people in each school bus and two people inside the U-Haul.
Officers with the California Highway Patrol said the larger school bus was going “too fast and too close” behind the moving truck and could not stop in time. In a chain reaction, the bus rear-ended the U-Haul which caused the truck to rear-end the smaller school bus in front of it, CHP said.
“The last bus was smoking, and when he came to the last 30 feet and tried to stop, he bumped the U-Haul. The U-Haul bumped the front bus, and that was about the end of it,” said witness Ben Durbin. Durbin told NBC 7 he was directly behind the larger bus when the “little fender bender” occurred.
There were 11 people injured, according to CalFire spokesperson Rick Johnson. The severity of their injuries ranged from minor to moderate, he said.
The crash shut down both eastbound and westbound lanes of Valley Center Road.
No citations were issued at the scene.