On Monday July 8, 2013 in Spain, a bus swerved off of the road and crashed. The accident caused nine deaths and injured 22 others, 5 seriously. The driver of the bus was arrested for reckless driving.
Jorge Fernandez Diaz, Spain’s Interior Minister told the press, “The accident occurred close to the town of Tornadizos, 60 miles northwest of Madrid. When the bus went off the road as it was coming down a mountain pass. The bus driver passed a drug and alcohol test, and the bus was fit for the road. However, the driver was arrested and was due to appear before a judge later in the day, accused of reckless driving resulting in death.”
Law enforcement has investigators are still trying to determine the bus’s speed at the time of the accident. The road surface had nothing to do with the accident.
The bus was owned by the company Cevasa and was a blue single-decker bus. The bus ended up on its side and was saved from going down a steep slope by a metal safety barrier that buckled severely, but did not break.
The entire right side of the bus was severely smashed, and all of the windows on that side were shattered. The bus scraped along a rocky wall before striking the metal barrier. The windshield of the bus hung open “like a curtain.”
Teams of firefighters, twelve ambulances, and two medical helicopters were on the scene. Six bodies were laid out on the road on N-403. The bodies were covered in white sheets.
Emergency services workers wore black helmets and tunics while they carried one passenger on a stretcher. Passengers who were lucky enough to escape without serious injury sat on a nearby curb. First aid personnel did their best to comfort them.
Disaster struck about six miles from the bus’s final destination around 8:45 a.m.
The central government representative for Avila, Ramiro Ruiz Medrano, told Spanish public radio, “It came off the road for unknown reasons. They are investigating the possible causes at the moment. There are some with very serious injuries, while others are in shock. The driver was uninjured, though Spanish media said he was in shock. The vehicle’s insurance papers and road worthiness certificates were all in order.”
A 6-year-old girl was flown over 60 miles by emergency helicopter to a hospital in the town of Salamanca.
The mother of the child told local media, “She is stable, but they have to examine her for trauma to the brain.”
Also among the injured, a 17-year-old girl and a 91-year-old woman were also taken to the Salamanca hospital.
Taken to the Sonsoles Hospital in Avila, sixteen-year-old Lucia Garcia is recovering. She was on the bus with two friends they were headed to Avila to shop.
“She has some broke bones in her wrist,” her 63 year old grandmother told media. “When she arrived she was in shock. It was very intense. She was trembling and crying because she had two friends in the bus.”
One of Garcia’s friends, a seventeen year old, was rushed to the Salamanca hospital with a serious head injury. Her other friend, who is 16, had to have stitches in her leg but suffered no broken bones.
The victim’s families gathered at the Avila sports stadium, where psychologists were made available to them.
This was Spain’s deadliest bus accident since 2008, when nine Finnish tourists were killed in an accident in the Andalusia region.