Local News

Show To Go On For Teen Dancers Involved In Johnston Bus Crash

Posted July 23, 2004

— Members of a teen dance troupe will continue a trip to New York Friday morning after an unplanned stop in Johnston County Thursday.

About 40 members of the Caravan Kids dance program were on board two Venture Tours, Inc. buses when the lead bus blew a tire and went off an embankment along Interstate 95 near Micro around 4:30 p.m.

"There was a lot of chaos -- girls screaming, bleeding. A lot of them had gotten out of the bus, but we had to assist some of them," said Chief Percell Holland of the Micro Fire Department.

Twenty-five people aboard that bus were taken to area hospitals for treatment. Everyone, except for the bus driver, was treated and released.

Willie Owens is listed in good condition at Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville.

Following their release, the teenagers regrouped at North Johnston Middle School and were bused to area hotels.

The dance team is made up of teens from around the country and is based in New Jersey. The group was on a six-week tour and was headed to New York City from Myrtle Beach, S.C.

"It just put us a little behind, but everything will be fine," said Sonya Livingston, Dance Caravan director. "The people here have been absolutely wonderful and have just taken such great care of these kids."

Inspectors will check the bus Friday to determine whether speed was also a factor.

"The speed limit out here is 65 mph, and if you have a vehicle of that size traveling 65 mph, it is going to do a lot of damage when it hits something sitting still, like these trees here," a state Highway Patrol trooper said.

Venture Tours Inc.,

is based in Chesapeake, Va.

and

Megan Hughes

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