Oregon Bus Crash-December 30, 2012
Rescue personnel respond to the scene of a charter bus crash on Interstate 84, east of Pendleton, Ore., on Sunday in this handout photo. Nine people were killed and at least 20 injured in the incident. Police said the bus may have gone out of control on the highway before crashing through a guardrail and down an embankment. REUTERS/Oregon State Police/Handout

A charter bus crash left nine people dead and at least 20 other people injured Sunday after a coach heading from Las Vegas to Vancouver, British Columbia, drove through a guardrail and off a highway in northeastern Oregon before careening down a 200-foot embankment.

The bus, carrying about 40 passengers, "lost control on the snow/ice-covered westbound lanes of Interstate 84" near Pendleton, Oregon State Police said, according to Reuters.

A state police representative, Lt. Gregg Hastings, said nine people were killed in the crash, Reuters reported.

"We'll have to move through our investigation throughout the day to try to determine what exactly were the contributing factors," Hastings said, according to ABC News.

"We are continuing to try and confirm the total number of passengers and number of injured persons transported to area hospital or secondary locations due to severity of injuries." the state police said in a statement cited by Reuters.

ABC's Portland affiliate KATU-TV reported that the Pendleton Fire Department said that 39 people were taken to hospitals.

The driver of the bus lived through the crash, but was injured badly enough in the incident that he could not yet be interviewed by authorities, Reuters reported.

The accident took place in the Blue Mountains, about 10 miles of east of Pendleton and 200 miles east of Portland, ABC News reported.

The names of the passengers who were killed or injured in the crash will not be made public until next-of-kin notifications are made, police told Reuters.