Local News

Greyhound Passenger: Crash Like 'Bad Roller Coaster Ride'

Posted January 2, 2008
Updated January 3, 2008

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— Passengers aboard a Greyhound bus that rear-ended a flatbed truck Wednesday morning and flipped along a major highway likened the wreck to "a bad roller coaster ride."

Nearly 50 passengers were taken to local hospitals after the bus collided with the tractor-trailer at Raleigh Road and U.S. Highway 1, south of Henderson.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol said the bus failed to slow down when the truck slowed to make a left turn. The bus hit the truck, then ran off the right shoulder of the road, down and embankment and overturned.

Some passengers questioned whether the bus's driver fell asleep at the wheel. Trooper James Montgomery of the state Highway Patrol said the truck driver wasn't at fault in the wreck, but no charges have been filed yet against the bus driver.

"I heard someone scream and woke up," said Alex Hand, a passenger aboard the bus, which was bound for Raleigh. "I see what looked like a tractor-trailer in front of us. We hit it and it flipped us up and over a guardrail."

Emergency workers described the scene as chaotic with frightened passengers climbing out through windows and through the hatches on the top of the bus.

"Everybody's scared," passenger Elliott Wong-Shing said. "We were in an accident, and we don't know who's hurt or what's what."

The bus driver, Keith Lamont Small, 62, of Durham, and passenger Effie Pegeuef were airlifted to area hospitals. They were both in  the intensive care unit at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill Thursday morning.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Gregory Jefferson, of Henderson, and his passenger, Angela Lynette Williams, 34, of Henderson, weren't injured.

Forty-one bus passengers were taken via a school bus to Maria Parham Hospital in Henderson. Five others were transported by ambulance and three others by private vehicles.

A hospital spokesman said none of the injuries, at the time, were life-threatening and that most were bumps and bruises. All of the patients were treated, released and on a bus bound for Raleigh Wednesday evening.

"My legs (were) hit up, (I) lost my tooth, busted my face inside and out," Wong-Shing said.

Elvis Latiolais, general manager of Carolina Trailways, a subsidiary of Greyhound, said the bus was traveling from Richmond, Va., and had stopped in Henderson before heading to Raleigh.

Southbound U.S. 1 was closed for more than four hours while crews cleared the scene. One of the northbound lanes of U.S. 1 was also closed. All lanes reopened by 3 p.m.

Dustin Clark, a spokesman for Greyhound, said it was common for Carolina Trailways to used Greyhound buses during busy times of travel.


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  • tarheel22 Jan 3, 2008

    Who rides the bus anymore? I tried to book a friend a ride from Myrtle Beach to Rocky Mount and it was going to take over 24 hours for a 4 hour ride. Ridiculous. I drove down in 3 1/2 hours and back in 3 1/2 and saved her 17 hours of anguish

  • jenn27537 Jan 2, 2008

    Sorry clint I misunderstood your post, I guess I should start reading twice before giving my 2 cents worth. I look at it like this EVERYONE on the bus should be thankful they are still alive and I am sure that NO ONE on that bus has even thought about a law suit.(yet)

  • clintoflannagan Jan 2, 2008

    Bo, you're the one who mentioned a "cash grab," "scumbag associates" and "neck braces" which are all phrases that someone would use when they were discussing frivolous lawsuits. Somehow I find it hard to imagine how anyone could even imply that the claims of old lady sitting on a bus minding her own business who suffers catestrophic injuries would be frivolous.

    Or maybe I just read your post wrong.?.?.?......

  • bomanicous Jan 2, 2008

    clint if you think it's ok for a "ambulance chasing" scumbag to rob insurance companies and civilians then you're scum as well. Nobody is saying people injured (especially badly injured) shouldn't be compensated but you acknowledged that when you mentioned "frivilous" like it's a good thing. duh is right!!!

  • jenn27537 Jan 2, 2008

    clint, I really hope you are kidding about the passengers of this bus, no normal human being could be that cruel.

  • clintoflannagan Jan 2, 2008

    "They must have strapped johnny boy to a chair in iowa to miss out on this cash grab. he probably sent some of his slime-bag associates (with a bunch of neck braces) to the scene."

    Yeah. Because it's obvious that any claims that would come out of this would be just more frivolous lawsuits. Who cares if the old lady was critially injured and her legs were badly broken to the point that they looked like "jelly." (http://www.newsobserver.com/news/growth/traffic/story/856053.html) She probably didn't want to walk any more anyway. That old woman was probably just a drain on society anyway. She deserved what she got. And so did the rest of them. I mean everyone knows you shouldn't be able to trust a bus driver to drive safely. Duh.

  • houndie Jan 2, 2008

    I have never rode a Greyhound bus but I have been passed by some that were driving much too fast!

  • bomanicous Jan 2, 2008

    They must have strapped johnny boy to a chair in iowa to miss out on this cash grab. he probably sent some of his slime-bag associates (with a bunch of neck braces) to the scene.

  • NC Forester Jan 2, 2008

    claudnc - what do you drive? I want to make sure if I see you on the road I do get out of the way. Driving while that sleepy is as bad as driving drunk!

  • CarolinaGirl Jan 2, 2008

    "That's a bad place to travel. Coming home from DC this summer with my kids, we were nearly a statistic. There was a tractor trailer in front of us that kept weaving into the other lane, and OFF the road. MAJOR 'off the road' kinda thing. I called the highway patrol.
    Fortunately for the driver, he pulled off into a truck stop about 10 miles down the road.
    The HP is sooo expedient. Not."

    WOW...another outlet to bash the Highway Patrol. I can't believe you didn't see them when you called because as we ALL know they are ALWAYS sitting right around the corner from wherever you are just waiting for YOUR call so they can jump into action! Come on people.