Driver killed, Texas students hurt when bus plunges into Alabama ravine


At least one person is dead after a charter bus carrying high school students plunged into a ravine in Alabama.

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

Five other people on the bus were said to be in serious condition, and one person was listed in critical condition.

Traffic is being diverted at the 5mm (Hwy 90 exit) on I-10 WB on the Florida side.

First Class Tours Inc. said driver Harry Caligone was killed Tuesday when its bus carrying Texas high school students home from a Disney World trip crashed in Alabama.

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".

"A charter bus transporting Channelview High School band students was involved in an accident on Interstate 10 in Alabama early this morning. Some were carried out by either deputies or other law enforcement", Baldwin County Sheriff Huey Hoss Mack said, explaining that the depth of the ravine complicated rescue efforts.

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The bus was carrying students returning from a trip to Walt Disney World in Florida, Malone said.

An Alabama state trooper confirmed the person killed was the bus driver.

The tour bus crashed on Interstate 10 about 5:30 a.m., Malone said at the press conference. The interstate was closed down in both directions as helicopters and ambulances took the injured to hospitals including emergency rooms in Mobile and Pensacola, Florida, plus a freestanding emergency room in rural Baldwin County, Elliott said.

"I felt hopeless and like I couldn't do anything", said Josh Torres, the brother of one of the victims. It arrived at the high school there Tuesday afternoon with a police escort.

Safety records for the company obtained by WKRG show they've been involved in four crashes in the last two years, including one other fatal incident.

First responders had to rappel down a 50-foot ravine in the middle of Interstate 10 to reach them, and helicopters brought survivors to hospitals, a sheriff said.