Driver Charged In Tour Bus Accident On Northbound I-95
Posted May 26, 2006 10:40 a.m. EDT
DUNN, N.C. — Authorities say some students from New Jersey were taken to the hospital following a tour bus accident on Interstate 95 in Harnett County.
Sky 5 Video Of Accident Scene
The accident occurred south of Dunn near mile marker 73. Authorities said three tour buses were traveling together when one of the buses experienced engine trouble and slowed down to pull over, according to Trooper B.O. Johnson of the North Carolina Highway Patrol. A trailing bus struck it from behind after failing to slow down, he said.
The second bus slid over the shoulder of the highway and down an embankment, crushing its front end and trapping the driver. Students escaped through an emergency exit, Johnson said. The other bus was not involved in the collision.
One of the tour bus drivers, 61-year-old Ozell Robertson Jr., of Columbia, S.C., was airlifted from the scene and taken to WakeMed. There is no word on his condition. He has been charged with a speed violation. Additional charges may be pending.
Troopers are investigating the bus driver's claim that the brakes on the bus did not work and he was not able to stop in time. The buses are registered to CRT Transportation out of Summerset, N.J.
The University High School students were heading back to Newark, N.J., from a senior class trip in Florida. There were a total of 103 students on the trip.
Roger Leon, a chaperone who was aboard the third bus, tried to account for students at the scene by writing their names on one teenager's T-shirt.
Officials with Betsy Johnson Memorial Hospital in Dunn said 44 people were brought to the facility. Officials said their injuries are not considered life-threatening.
The other students are being transported to the
Dunn Recreation Center
until transportation issues are resolved.
Crews have removed one of the tour buses from the accident scene. Crews closed both lanes of northbound Interstate 95 for more than two hours. The interstate has since reopened and traffic is flowing again.