Bus falls into I-10 ravine; driver dies
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.