Fiery bus crash in Santa Barbara County injures 6 farmworkers

The crash occurred near Highway 135 at Graciosa Road in an area with several farms.
(Handout / Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

A converted school bus carrying more than two dozen farmworkers crashed Thursday afternoon in a rural part of Santa Barbara County and became engulfed in flames, fire officials said.

Six people were injured and taken to a hospital, according to Capt. Dave Zaniboni of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The crash occurred about 3 p.m. near Highway 135 and Graciosa Road, just south of Orcutt. The bus was carrying 28 people, including the driver, when it veered off the road and smashed into a tree, Zaniboni said.

“We were coming from work,” an unidentified passenger told the local NBC affiliate, KSBY-TV Channel 6. “Thank God I am alive and we are all alive.”


Of those injured, one person had major injuries, and another person had moderate injuries. Four others had minor wounds.

The accident sparked a brush fire that spread to about a half-acre. Firefighters were able to knock down the blaze in about 20 minutes.

The cause of the crash is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

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