|10-09-2004, 01:51 PM||Tour Bus crashes killing at least 15 in Arkansas. Post #1|
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Tour Bus crashes killing at least 15 in Arkansas.
Tour Bus Crash in Ark. Kills at Least 15
Oct 9, 1:39 PM (ET)
By CARYN ROUSSEAU
MARION, Ark. (AP) - A bus carrying Chicago-area tourists to a Mississippi casino crashed and overturned early Saturday, killing at least 15 people, including the driver, state police said.
The bus crashed on Interstate 55 in northeastern Arkansas, near Memphis, Tenn. It was headed to Tunica, Miss., a popular destination for casino gambling, when the accident happened about 5 a.m.
Thirty-one people were aboard the bus, which was the only vehicle involved in the crash. Some of the dead were found crushed beneath the vehicle after wrecker crews arrived to pull it upright, state police spokesman Bill Sadler said.
Each of the 16 others aboard were hurt. To reach other victims, emergency workers sheared off the top of the bus. The roof lay nearby while rescuers worked amid popped-open suitcases, clothes, pillows and cameras.
Authorities on the scene had not determined a cause for the crash, which occurred near a point where Interstate 55 veers to the left to take travelers into Memphis.
From an overpass near the crash site, tracks could be seen in the grass near the highway, suggesting the bus went straight as the road curved.
After leaving the highway, it went down a slight incline and flipped as it cut through a small ditch, traveling about 100 yards from the highway before stopping near an exit.
Police cautioned that investigators may not know for weeks what happened. "They'll be so many things they'll need to look at," Sadler said.
Witnesses and survivors told police the trip was uneventful, then "the next thing we knew, we were off the road," Sadler said.
A light mist was falling at the time of the crash, but visibility did not appear to be significantly limited, he said.
The bus was owned by Walters Charter and Tours of Chicago.
Company owner Roosevelt Walters said his wife was aboard the bus because she had organized the trip for a group of friends, retirees and teachers. He said his brother, Herbert Walters, was driving.
Walters learned later that his brother had been killed in the crash. He was still awaiting word on his wife.
"This thing that happened, nobody has an answer for. All we can do is direct them to God," said the Rev. Curtis Reed, who was serving as a family spokesman.
Both Roosevelt and Herbert Walters held commercial driver's licenses issued to drivers of large trucks and tour buses, said Dave Druker, a spokesman for the Illinois secretary of state's office.
Records dating back about 10 years indicated both had clean driving records, with no tickets or violations, Druker said.
Walters said he inspected the vehicle, his only tour bus, on Friday and found it to be in good mechanical shape.
The group left from his home Friday evening and had planned to spend the weekend at a casino, then return to Chicago by Monday night.
The bus made the trip twice a year, and most of those in the group knew each other. Walters said his stepson, his sister-in-law, a cousin and his neighbors were also aboard.
Fredonia Gay, who lives three miles from the crash site, was awakened by passing medical helicopters. "The helicopters kept coming over my house, and I knew it would be something tragic," she said. "They kept coming and coming."
The National Transportation Safety Board planned to join the investigation.
The accident occurred about five miles from Marion, Ark., just outside Memphis, Tenn.
Associated Press Writers Woody Baird in Marion, Ark., and Melanie Coffee in Chicago contributed to this report.
|10-09-2004, 02:19 PM||Tour Bus crashes killing at least 15 in Arkansas. Post #3|
I will not apologize for art
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Memphis, TN
Total Points: 16,662,647.19
Yeah. That's near me. Very, very tragic. From the ariel pics, it looks like the bus overturned onto the roof.
|10-11-2004, 04:22 PM||Tour Bus crashes killing at least 15 in Arkansas. Post #4|
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: "In my field of hopping ferrets..."
Total Points: 416.00
Wow... that's sad. Poor people and their relatives and friends that will miss them.
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