15 hospitalized after bus collides with big rig

TULARE, Calif. (AP) — The California Highway Patrol says 15 people have been hospitalized with minor injuries after a bus rear-ended a big rig on a Central Valley freeway.

Officer Scott Jobinger says the collision happened just before midnight Monday on northbound Route 99 in Tulare, about 40 miles south of Fresno.

The bus driver told investigators he was unable to avoid a collision when the big rig slowed suddenly.

Jobinger says 15 people, including the big rig's driver, were transported to hospitals. Seventeen other people on the bus, including its driver, complained of pain and other minor injuries but refused treatment.

The bus, operated by Fronteras del Norte, was en route from Los Angeles to Yakima, Washington.

The company sent other buses to pick up passengers as they were discharged from hospitals.