Bus filled with students crashes into Ala. ravine
The company whose bus plunged into an Alabama ravine early yesterday morning, killing the driver and injuring at least three dozen passengers, has been in four crashes during the past two years, according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) records.
In Tuesday’s incident involving First Class Tours Inc., a bus carrying members of a Texas high school band returning from a music festival at Disney World left the road and descended into a steep ravine near Loxley. Driver Harry Caligone was killed and 37 people – mostly students – were injured, six seriously. As of this morning, approximately nine people remained hospitalized.
News sources say the accident shut down traffic on Interstate 10 between Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida for hours.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has sent a go-team to Alabama to investigate the crash, which will include examining the wrecked bus that had to be pulled from the ravine by emergency crews.
Caligone reportedly had 20+ years’ experience as a bus driver. Local officials said there were no skid marks on the embankment, which may indicate that Caligone fell asleep or had a medical emergency or that the bus suffered a mechanical failure.
First Class Tours got a “satisfactory” rating for safety requirement compliance from the FMCSA.