By Carey Gillam
(Reuters) - A bus veered off a Southern California highway and flipped over early Wednesday morning, killing four people and injuring several others, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The driver of the passenger bus apparently was trying to avoid some pipes in the roadway that had come off a truck traveling the opposite direction in an earlier accident, said California Highway Patrol spokesman Jason Girard.
"He saw some debris and veered to the right," said Girard.
The bus, which was traveling from Phoenix to Los Angeles, landed at the bottom of a shallow embankment, trapping some victims inside, said Girard.
Four people are dead, Girard said, and at least three others suffered serious injuries and were airlifted from the scene. More than a dozen others were taken to hospitals for evaluation, he said.
The accident happened shortly after 2 a.m. local time Wednesday, and blocked both east- and westbound lanes of Interstate 10.
The bus was traveling west through Blythe, California, a desert area near the state border with Arizona, when the accident occurred.
(Reporting By Carey Gillam in Kansas City; Editing by Nick Zieminski)