Bus full of Mesa cheerleaders crashes in California

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

A bus carrying 40 cheerleaders from Mesa crashed on its way home from California Wednesday afternoon. According to the team's coach, Tannaz Kirichkow, the bus was headed back to Arizona from a cheerleading camp held at UCLA.

Tears were flowing and kids were scrambling to safety Wednesday night, 

Video shot moments after the crash shows 40 middle school age cheerleaders running from their bus now engulfed in flames.

"All I remember is we were sitting down on the bus doing our hair and we got hit and we started going down the hill," said Peyton Miller, one for young girls on the bus. “Then behind us, the bus started catching on fire,"

The group out of Mesa was returning home from a cheer camp at UCLA when a semi slammed into the back of their bus along I-10 just outside Indio, California.

Peyton says a small fire sparked, quickly spreading throughout the bus.

"Everybody stood up and were screaming and crying," said Peyton.

She says, fortunately, an off-duty officer pulled over and boarded the bus, telling everyone to get off.

Of the 40 girls who were attending the camp with the California Allstars, three were injured in the crash and sent to the hospital.

"A couple girls were still on the bus because they blacked out because they hit their head really hard," said Peyton.

Mary Green, Peyton’s stepmother, says getting a call like the one she received that night, is a mother’s worst nightmare.

"It was just kind of scary you know, being here and they're out there,” said Green. “I know some of the other moms just didn't wait. They just jumped in the car and started driving,"

Thankfully, everyone is OK and both Green and Peyton tell us this won't stop them from attending camps in the future, with one caveat.

"First words out of her mouth when she got in the truck was, 'Dad will you drive me next year, I don't want to take the bus,'” said Green.

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