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Feds join investigation into the Palm Springs tour bus crash

The National Transportation Safety Board has announced it will investigate the crash that occurred outside Palm Springs, in which a tour bus crashed into an 18-wheeler truck, killing 13 and injuring 31.

The bus collided at high speed with the semi, which had slowed to 5 mph due to road work. The crash received national attention for the number of dead and injured. It has been described as the deadliest accident in California in over ten years.

No definitive conclusions expected soon

Early indications are that the steer tire tread for the tour bus were below minimum standards. On the basis of tire inspection alone, the tour bus appears to have been out of compliance with safety standards.

Preliminary reports show that there were no skid marks leading up to the crash scene, and no sign that the tour bus tried to brake before the collision. The bus collided at high speed with the semi, which was traveling at 5 mph. The bus was not equipped with seat belts, and no black box could be found.

Tragedy ends a fun outing

The tour bus was returning to Los Angeles from a visit to Red Earth Casino in Salton Sea Beach. The driver, who was among the dead, had been the owner and manager of the bus line.

From here, the investigation will look into the histories of the two drivers, and a thorough examination of the insides of the two vehicles. The NTSB National Transportation Safety Board will also reconstruct the crash in terms of lighting, weather and traffic conditions.

The investigative process generally takes a year to complete.

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