Associated Press

ELKO — A bus carrying mine employees collided head-on with a tractor-trailer rig Saturday on a highway in rural northeastern Nevada, killing two people and injuring others, authorities said.

A preliminary investigation indicates that the big rig crossed the center line of State Route 766 about 6 miles (10 kilometers) north of Carlin at 6:35 a.m., the Highway Patrol said in a statement.

The highway leads to several mines operated by Nevada Gold Mines, which said in a statement that its “thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the accident, and we are providing counseling and other support resources to our employees and their families,” the Elko Daily Free Press reported.

Photos released by the Highway Patrol showed the heavily damaged coach bus and the two-trailer truck on opposite sides of the two-lane highway. The exterior of the truck’s tractor unit was shredded.

The Highway Patrol said the bus was carrying 21 people and that those killed were the truck driver and a bus passenger.

The bus driver and the other passengers were transported to the Elko hospital, with five in critical condition, the Highway Patrol said.

Hospitals in the Salt Lake City area told KUTV-TV that at least some of the injured were being transported to those hospitals.

Eureka County Sheriff Jesse Watts identified the truck driver as Andrew G. Nash, 29, of Spring Creek, Nevada. The bus passenger was as Rocky D. Witt, 62, also of Spring Creek.

The Nevada Highway Patrol is conducting the crash investigation.

Buses transport miners to the region’s gold mines in shifts.

Nevada Gold Mines ‘ website says it operates eight mines along with processing facilities and is a joint venture between Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Goldcorp Corp.