Auburn, CA Bus Accident, Mar 1983


Auburn, Calif. (AP) -- Two "gamblers specials" charter buses returning from Reno crashed on mountainous, snow-slick Interstate 80, killing three people and injuring 56 others, authorities said.
"There was a light snow falling and the road was open," said Placer County sheriff's dispatcher Carol Hunter about Sunday night's accident.
A bus bound for Marysville lost control, spun out, hit an embankment and drifted back into the path of a Sacramento-bound bus about 8 p.m., said a California Highway Patrol dispatcher in Truckee, who declined to be named.
Ms. Hunter said no other vehicles were involved in the crash of the westbound vehicles, which occurred at about the 4,000-foot level on a downhill section of the highway in the Sierra Nevada foothills, approximately 130 miles northeast of San Francisco.
Three people on the Marysville-bound bus were killed, the California Highway Patrol dispatcher said. He said there were six major injuries, 10 serious injuries and 40 minor injuries. The two buses were carrying 85 passengers.
"We went for a spin. I guess we hit some ice," said DONALD WEST of Marysville, who was riding in the first bus.
"I flew over the seat in front of me, believe it or not," said EVELYN HOUCK of Marysville, who was sitting about two seats behind the driver.
She said she had won a little money gambling in Reno, but "this is the last trip, believe me."
Five ambulances ferried the injured to Auburn Community Hospital and Roseville Community Hospital.
"Most of the injuries were not serious, just bumps and bruises, but there were some broken bones," said Jim Ferguson, a spokesman for Auburn Community Hospital, where about 20 people were taken.
The buses were from the Allen Transportation Co. of Sacramento, which runs weekend excursions to Lake Tahoe and Reno according to a highway patrol dispatcher, who asked that he not be named.

Casa Grande Dispatch Arizona 1983-03-21