Barrientos, who was uninjured, quickly sprang into action following the crash, moving his friends to safety and then tried to help the bus driver, whose hand was pinned between rocks. Ramirez, who had a bloody ear, dark bruises and a scratch on her neck, suffered a hairline vertebra fracture.
“I was overwhelmed,” she said. “I’m a surgical resident and I usually know how to react, but I was so in shock I didn’t know what to do. I just stayed with my friend.”
The gruesomeness of the injuries made it difficult for authorities to determine just how many had died. They initially said eight but then reduced the number to seven after determining no additional bodies were in the wrecked bus.
At least 17 people were still hospitalized Monday, including at least five in critical condition. The pickup driver was in extremely serious condition, said Peter Brierty, assistant county fire chief.
No one answered the door at the Scapadas Magicas office in a sprawling complex that houses more than 1,300 storage lockers and about 30 small offices.
Jordi Garcia, marketing director of Interbus Tours, said his company rented the bus from Scapadas Magicas, which supplied the driver.