At least three people are dead after a bus crashed off the side of rain-slicked Interstate 15 near Fallbrook Saturday morning.
Emergency personnel responded at 10:24 a.m. to reports that a bus had rolled over off southbound I-15 just south of state Route 76, according to North County Fire Capt. John Choi. The crash happened amid scattered showers that have been dropping rain on the region since before dawn on Saturday.
Crews arrived at the scene to find multiple injured people, including some who had been ejected from the bus. Choi said three people were pronounced dead at the scene, while 18 were taken to various nearby hospitals.
According to California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Latulippe, the injured passengers were taken to Palomar Medical Center, Temecula Valley Hospital and Inland Valley Medical Center. One person has injuries that are believed to be life-threatening, while three more have injuries that are considered serious, but not life-threatening.
The bus originated in the Los Angeles area and was headed to San Ysidro, Latulippe said.
The driver sustained minor injuries and was interviewed at a CHP station. Authorities do not currently suspect drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash.
As of about 2 p.m., the No. 4 lane of I-15 was still blocked and the bus was still on the side of the freeway, as crews have been unable to safely access it, Latulippe said.
It remained unclear what caused the crash, and the CHP was continuing to investigate.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.