2 dead in charter bus crash near Pueblo, 13 injured

PUEBLO, Colo.-- A charter bus carrying 15 members of a church group ran off a highway after striking a bridge support Sunday in southern Colorado, killing two people and injuring several others, a state patrol official said.

The bus was carrying a charter group from a church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and was traveling southbound on Interstate 25 when it struck the bridge structure and veered off the highway about 10 miles north of Pueblo, state Patrol Cpl. Ivan Alvarado said.

The driver, a 22-year-old man, may have had an unspecified medical issue that contributed to the crash, Alvarado said. The driver, whose identity wasn't released, was ejected from the bus and died, he said.

The identity of the other person who died wasn't immediately known. Thirteen other people sustained injuries varying from minor to critical, the state patrol said.

The bus was returning to New Mexico from a convention in Denver, The Pueblo Chieftain reported , citing Colorado State Police officials.

The group included high-schoolers who were returning from a meeting from the Steubenville of the Rockies Youth Conference in Denver, according to the Archdiocese of Denver.

Three medical helicopters and dozens of ambulance and fire crews responded to the 2:40 p.m. accident, the Chieftain reported. Six of those injured were taken to St. Mary Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo and six others to Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo West.

The accident caused extensive backups in both directions of the interstate.

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