Twenty-four people were treated for injuries following a commercial tour bus Thursday afternoon in Grand Teton National Park.
A bus carrying 26 passengers and a driver crashed approximately four miles north of Colter Bay Village. Ambulances and a passenger van were used to transport 24 people for medical care at St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson, Wyoming. Two seriously injured passengers were flown by helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls.
The single-vehicle accident resulted in the complete closure of both lanes of Highway 89/287 between Colter Bay and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway for nearly five hours Wednesday afternoon and evening. Motorists traveling between Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks were diverted to Jackson Lake Lodge and Colter Bay Village during the highway closure. Southbound motorists were sent to Headwaters Lodge and Cabins at Flagg Ranch and Grant Village in Yellowstone National Park to wait out the travel delay.
The vehicle wreckage was cleared and Grand Teton rangers reopened the highway at 9:10 p.m.
Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers and Grand Teton National Park rangers are jointly conducting an accident investigation, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office.
The 33-foot-long bus came to rest on its side in the center of the roadway and perpendicular to the traffic lanes. Although the bus did not completely roll over, the impact of the crash caused injuries to all 27 bus occupants.
The tour bus was northbound on Highway89/287 en route to West Yellowstone, Montana through the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park when the accident occurred.
Most patients were treated and released from the Jackson hospital around 9 p.m. Five of the more seriously injured passengers were kept for overnight observation and additional medical care.
The two patients flown to Eastern Idaho Medical Center were listed in fair condition as of Friday morning, July 11.