21 people hospitalized after bus carrying farmworkers flips over near Yuma

A bus full of farm workers was on its way to Wellton, east of Yuma when it crashed and left 21 people hurt.
Published: Nov. 6, 2023 at 6:27 PM MST
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YUMA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — More than 20 farm workers were sent to the hospital after the bus they were riding in flipped over on Monday. The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office said it happened around 6:40 a.m. Thirty-four people were on the bus. YCSO said the driver lost control of the vehicle when it was on a field road and slid into an embankment, which caused the bus to roll over and land on its side.

Deputies say 21 victims were transported to the Yuma Regional Medical Center with injuries that aren’t considered life-threatening. YRCM said 18 patients had been treated and released and the remaining patients were still being evaluated or had been admitted.

Norma Franklin was working in the fields when she saw a handful of ambulances pass by with their sirens. She said once they heard it was a farmworker bus that had rolled over, they became very worried. “I found out two of my friends are there and actually I got worried,” she said.

She said her two friends are from San Luis, Arizona and have worked in the fields for years. “They come out here to work and go back home, but sometimes you don’t know if you’re going back home,” Franklin said.

Franklin has worked in the fields since she was 14 years old. She’s been a bus driver for her work crew for 20 years. “It’s a lot of responsibility,” she said.

She said the accident is a wake-up call for everyone in the farming community. “I believe we should be more cautious; you never know what could happen. This is life that we have to take care of,” she said.

YCSO said alcohol was not a factor in the accident and the case remains under investigation.

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