Photo by John Schreiber.

A lucky bunch of young cheerleaders had something to cheer about Thursday after they narrowly escaped a desert freeway tragedy when their charter bus collided with a giant big rig truck that burst into flames.

Four of about 30 occupants of the bus, who had been either headed to or from a cheerleading competition, suffered only minor injuries and were taken to a hospital to be checked out, according to a California Highway Patrol dispatcher.

The Wednesday early evening crash occurred on eastbound Interstate 10 near the Cactus City Rest Area outside Indio.

The big rig was forced across the center divider and into the westbound lanes. The truck driver’s condition was not disclosed.

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A SunLine Transit Agency bus was sent to pick up the stranded bus passengers.

The CHP issued a SigAlert for the westbound lanes, which were completely blocked by the wreckage. Authorities also blocked the left eastbound lane to allow smoother access for emergency vehicles.

As of 7:30 p.m., westbound vehicles were being allowed to pass the scene on the shoulder, according to the CHP.

There was no immediate word of why the collision took place.

–Staff and wire reports

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