Palm Springs

‘I'm Blessed to Be Alive': Truck Driver Who Was Rear-Ended in Deadly Tour Bus Crash Speaks Out

A truck driver survived the impact when a tour bus slammed into his semi-truck in the Palm Springs area.

The truck driver who survived a deadly tour bus crash on Sunday said he is "blessed to be alive" after 13 bus passengers were killed and 31 others were injured on Sunday. 

Identified only as Bruce, the driver said the tour bus slammed into his semi-truck early Sunday morning. 

"The impact hit me from behind and I just blacked out for a minute," Bruce said. 

As soon as he realized there were dozens of people in the bus, he ran to help them. 

He described a chaotic scene: people climbing out of windows to remove themselves from the wreckage. 

"I'm going to be alright," he said. "But you never know if the bus is going to blow up or something." 

David Hirschfield, a driver, picked up the truck driver when he was released from the hospital. He drove him to local hotel, interviewed him along the way and posted the video on his Facebook page

Following the crash, Bruce's right leg was injured, his left hand bandaged and his shirt bloodied. 

Hirschfield described Bruce as a "hero" during the car ride interview. 

Doctors said that based on the injuries they've seen, Bruce's big rig acted as an accordion, softening the blow for the people in the back of the bus. Surgeons added that the impact may have been lessened because the tour bus was still moving.

The bulk of the passengers' injuries were to the face and will require surgery, doctors added. 

Five of those patients remain in critical condition at Desert Regional Medical Center. Seven patients have been sent home and one more is being transferred from another hospital. 

Bruce, however, is returning to Los Angeles a grateful man. 

"I'm blessed to be alive and I pray for the families that didn't make it," he said. 

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