Bus falls into I-10 ravine; driver dies

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

LOXLEY, Ala. — A bus car­ry­ing high school band mem­bers home to Texas from Dis­ney World ran off a high­way and plunged into a deep ravine early Tues­day in Alabama, killing the driver and in­jur­ing dozens, au­thor­i­ties said.

First re­spon­ders used ropes to rap­pel down the 50-foot ravine in the mid­dle of In­ter­state 10 and then had to cut some of the vic­tims from the wreck­age, said Bald­win County Sher­iff Huey Mack.

The cause of the crash wasn’t im­me­di­ately known, but sur­vivors from Chan­nelview High School in metro Hous­ton de­scribed be­ing asleep one mo­ment and tum­bling through the air the next.

The school dis­trict said 40 stu­dents and six adults were on board.

One per­son died, driver Harry Caligone, while 37 peo­ple, mostly teenagers, were hurt, three se­ri­ously, au­thor­i­ties and the bus com­pany said. In­ter­state 10 didn’t re­open in both direc­tions for about 10 hours af­ter the ac­ci­dent oc­curred be­tween Mo­bile, Ala., and Pen­sacola, Fla.

The in­jured were treated at hos­pi­tals or other fa­cil­i­ties in Pen­sacola and south­west Alabama, med­i­cal of­fi­cials said.

The sher­iff said it wasn’t im­me­di­ately clear what caused the bus to en­ter the grassy me­dian, which ends abruptly at a steep em­bank­ment where the in­ter­state passes over Cow­pen Creek. First Class Tours Inc., the bus op­er­a­tor, iden­ti­fied Caligone as a long­time driver with the com­pany.

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