A bus driver was killed and multiple people were injured early this morning when a tour bus carrying Channelview High School band members and others from Houston, Texas plunged into a ravine on Interstate 10 in Alabama on the way home from a trip to Disney World in Florida.
Approximately 45 people were on the bus at the time of the accident, which took place 20 miles east of Mobile, according to news reports. I-10 eastbound was shut down following the accident.
According to Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack, one person is dead, one in critical condition and five more in serious condition, with the remaining passengers sustaining minor injuries. The person who died was the bus driver, according to Alabama state troopers.
The bus was owned by First Class Tours. According to safety records, the bus company’s vehicles have been involved in four previous crashes in the last two years, including another fatal accident. According to a local attorney, these types of crashes can lead to uncertain outcomes for victims.
“Bus accidents can be extremely complicated for many different reasons,” said attorney Dean Waite of Dean Waite & Associates LLC. “That’s why it’s critical to start investigating a bus accident as soon as possible, while evidence is still available and people’s memories are still fresh.”
“There are many aspects that need to be investigated after a serious bus accident,” Waite added. “The bus’s maintenance records are important. So is the bus company’s accident history. So is the driver. We regularly search through log books and other records to find out why this happened.”
Waite encouraged the families of injured passengers to be proactive about protecting their rights. “We realize this is a very difficult time for everyone involved, but you need to document everything, and you need to talk to an experienced attorney right away,” Waite said. “Getting legal help as soon as possible can make a huge difference in your outcome and your recovery.”