losangelesnewstoday.com March 19, 2018

Brother of charter bus crash victim believes "God was watching over" them

14 March 2018, 06:01 | Katrina Lee

One dead, dozens injured after school bus plunges to ravine in US

One dead after bus carrying dozens of students from Disney World plunges into ravine

47 passengers were on board. the driver did not make it and there's no indication that the brakes were used.

The crash and rescue effort closed down Interstate 10 in both directions near the Florida state line.

At least one person was killed when a bus carrying Houston-area band students drove into a 50-foot ravine in Alabama.

First Class Tours, which operated the bus, said in a statement that the bus was carrying students home from Orlando, Florida, and the company is cooperating with investigators.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott offered his condolences to those affected by the crash, saying in a statement: "I pray for a speedy recovery for all those injured, and I am especially grateful for the heroic actions of the Alabama first responders that undoubtedly helped save lives today". "We are extremely grateful for the first responders, hospital employees and volunteers from churches and schools in Alabama and Florida that have stepped up to help our students and comfort them through this hard situation". "We are in contact with law enforcement in Alabama trying to obtain further information".

Baldwin County Sheriff Mack said emergency units - forced to rappel down the ravine - were dispatched to extricate the passengers.

He said he looked down to see the bus lying on its side near the base of a concrete embankment, its front end crumpled.

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"For whatever reason, the charter bus got into the median and ended up going into a ravine", Mack said near the scene of the accident on Interstate 10 between Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida.

KTRK in Houston reported five people were seriously injured and one remained critical.

Torres said his brother, also a member of the Channelview band, was on another bus not involved in the accident.

According to Alabama State Troopers the person that died was the driver of the bus.

Baldwin County Sheriff's Office Major Anthony Lowery said the bus plunged off Interstate 10 into a deep ravine early Tuesday and multiple helicopters responded. It arrived at the high school there Tuesday afternoon with a police escort.

No other vehicles appeared to have been involved, he added.

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