UPDATE 11:48 a.m.: (AP) - A California sheriff says several injured passengers lost limbs when a speeding bus veered off a highway and struck a pole, killing five people.
Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke tells The Associated Press that the bus hit the pole of a highway sign head-on early Tuesday, and it sheared through the vehicle before stopping at the first axle "with a great impact."
The sheriff says the bus operated by Autobuses Coordinados USA was heading to Washington state and was due in Livingston at 1:30 a.m. to change drivers.
The California Highway Patrol says five people died and at least five people were airlifted to hospitals in unknown condition.
(AP) -- Authorities say a bus crash on a central California freeway has killed five people and sent at least five others to hospitals.
California Highway Patrol Officer Moi Onsurez says the five injured were airlifted to hospitals. He didn't have details about additional injuries or the cause of the crash that happened early Tuesday on State Route 99 between the cities of Atwater and Livingston.
Photos and video show the unmarked white bus crashed into the pole of a highway exit sign that appears to have torn through the middle of the vehicle. Emergency workers climbed in through the windows.
Onsurez says the bus with about 30 people aboard was heading from Southern California to Sacramento.
The northbound lanes of the freeway are closed during the investigation.