- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 9, 2003

BARSTOW, Calif., March 9 (UPI) — A rear-end collision between two tour buses Sunday afternoon injured more than 100 passengers and shut down part of the freeway between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Both lanes of southbound Interstate 15 were closed as rescue crews swarmed to the crash site in the Halloran Springs area; the number of victims totaled 105, a California Highway Patrol spokesman in Barstow said.

"The injured ranged from walking wounded to critical, and the victims are being flown out to hospitals," Officer Adam Cortinas told United Press International.

Cortinas said it was too early to know why the buses had crashed and what tour company they belonged to.

Interstate 15 carries tour groups between southern California and Las Vegas and southbound traffic is particularly heavy on Sunday evening.

A San Bernardino County Fire Department spokeswoman told Los Angeles television station KCBS that Californians in Las Vegas would be wise to consider extending their return home for at least a few hours.

"It's backed up quite a ways," spokeswoman Tracy Martinez said. "Southbound 15 is closed and northbound is moving very, very slowly."

(Reported by Hil Anderson in Los Angeles)

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