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Bus carrying Mesa cheerleaders collides with big rig in California


PHOENIX — A bus carrying a youth cheer squad from suburban Phoenix and a big rig crashed on a California freeway in the desert Wednesday, and at least three girls suffered minor injuries.

About 30 girls (13 and younger) and adults from the Mesa-based California All-Stars were aboard the charter bus, heading east on Interstate 10 near Cactus City in Riverside County. The vehicles collided around 4:15 p.m. After coming to a stop, the truck burst into flames.

The driver also suffered minor injuries.

Both vehicles approached traffic that was at a halt, KMIR-TV of Palm Springs reported.

The bus driver braked, but truck didn’t stop in time. The driver swerved, hitting the bus, then crossed into westbound lanes. The California Highway Patrol told the Palm Springs Desert Sun the truck had been going too fast to make a clean stop.

The cheer squad was returning home from a camp in Los Angeles.

Traffic was backed up for miles and for hours.

The lanes were reopened around 10 p.m.

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