The minibus carrying university students to a ski resort in Heilongjiang Province was speeding and chasing another vehicle, leading to the fatal accident which killed five and injured seven, police said after an initial investigation.
The minibus driver and four senior students of Beijing Forest University lost their lives, while seven others were injured in the accident on December 31, some seriously.
An investigation found the minibus was speeding and chasing a sedan on the Jihei Expressway before the crash. The sedan hit the central guardrail of the expressway when overtaking the minibus, then the minibus veered off the road and into a ditch while trying to avoid crashing into the sedan.
The minibus was carrying a total of 12 students who booked the charter bus service online. They had planned to visit Xuexiang Village, a famous ski resort in Heilongjiang.
The minibus owner, surnamed Tang, was detained by police for the suspected illegal operation of a transport service. The driver of the sedan, surnamed Zhao, was also detained for allegedly endangering public safety.