Six dead, dozens injured in Fresno bus accident

FRESNO, Calif.

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Family of Greyhound passengers can call (800) 972-4583 to inquire about the crash
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A Greyhound bus and several cars were involved in an overnight accident on Highway 99 near McKinley in central Fresno. Six people were killed and several others injured. The northbound lanes of Highway 99 were closed for several hours Thursday morning, all lanes are now open.

The bus was traveling north on Highway 99 in Fresno came across a Chevy Trailblazer that was already overturned on the highway. The bus crashed into the Trailblazer, then swerved onto the embankment, hit a Honda CRV before crashing into a large eucalyptus tree.

As a result of the crash 6 people died including the bus driver. Another man and four women are among the dead. Nine others suffered injuries and 24 others suffered minor injuries. The victims who were critically injured were taken to Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno.

According to Greyhound, there were a total of 47 passengers on bus.

Survivors described a chaotic scene.

"I just went flying through the air feet first, and then hit something, and then went back this way – like a pinball" said passenger Bill Gibson, "I'm sore -- I'm beat-up, but I'm okay -- I'm alive."

"I just kept thinking, 'oh my god, this isn't happening, we are going to die -- please don't let my son die.' I just held him as tight as I could," said passenger Denise Esquivel, "As soon as the bus stopped spinning -- as soon as it stopped – I realized he was pinned in the seats next to me – his legs. And I just kept thinking 'oh my god, please let his legs be intact.' I've never been in a car accident – my son has never been in a car accident. It was just the most frightening thing of my life."

"Just thank God we're alive -- Just thank him," said 6-year-old Roman Joseph, "some people didn't make it through, but a lot did and they're up in a better place."

The bus originated in Los Angeles. Madera was the next scheduled stop followed by its final stop in Sacramento.

Stay with ABC 30 and ABC30.com for the latest on this developing story ..

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STATEMENT FROM GREYHOUND

"At approximately 2:35 a.m. Pacific time on July 22, Greyhound Lines bus 30601, schedule 6888, was traveling northbound on Highway 99 in Fresno, Calif., with 35 ticketed passengers on board. The scheduled final destination was Sacramento, Calif. The coach was traveling to its next stop, Madera, Calif., when the accident occurred.

"Sadly, two passengers, as well as our driver have passed away. Our driver has worked for Greyhound Lines for 32 years. This operator was an excellent driver with a clean driving record and was a very well respected member of the Greyhound family. He will be sorely missed by his colleagues and friends. Our thoughts are with the families of those affected by this incident.

"We are cooperating with the California Highway Patrol as they investigate the incident."

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