VALLEY CENTER – Eight people suffered minor to serious injuries today when a tour bus crashed off a rural North County road while en route to Harrah’s Rincon Casino.
The driver lost control of the coach in the 29500 block of Valley Center Road about 9:30 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.
The vehicle, occupied by 15 people, smashed through a fence, went down a slight embankment and rolled to a halt, upright, on a lawn in front of a home about five miles from the casino, CHP public-affairs Officer Jim Bettencourt said.
Medics took the injured, who had trauma ranging from a possible broken leg to bumps and bruises, to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido and Fallbrook Hospital.
The 63-year-old operator of the Silver State Coach bus told investigators he had lost control while driving about 35 mph on a curving stretch of road, Bettencourt said. The speed limit in the area is 55 mph, the officer said.
The driver, a Hawaiian Gardens resident, was among those transported for medical care.
The bus trip had originated in Seal Beach, according to the Highway Patrol. All those aboard were adults.
The Placentia-based tour company that charters the vehicle makes several trips to the Valley Center-area casino daily, according to Bettencourt.