More than a dozen Morehouse College students were injured over the weekend in a bus crash in Henry County, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. One student, Bruce Purvis, Jr., remains in the hospital, and it is reported that he is recovering from a neck injury. Fortunately, none of the injuries were life-threatening, said Captain Jason Bolton of the Henry County Police Department.
All of the injured students are members in the college’s marching band known as the “House of Funk.” The marching band normally rides on three separate buses. On Saturday morning at approximately 10:15 a.m., one of these buses skidded off I-75 near the I-675 merge south of Atlanta. The bus flipped twice before coming to rest on its side, according to police reports. There were 42 students on board the bus at the time of the accident.
Two seriously injured students were transported to Grady Hospital in Atlanta. One was released fairly quickly, and the other was kept in the hospital. Several students were treated and release at other Atlanta-area hospitals.
Officials are not sure what caused the accidents, but they believe that the bus skidded on a wet roadway before it went off the road and flipped. After the bus flipped, Morehouse College band members on another bus saw the accident, and their bus turned around to help. All lanes of I-75 South near Hudson Bridge Road were temporarily shut down.
Police said that a car may have cut in front of the bus, causing it to lose control and rollover. The bus landed on its side in a ditch about 60 feet off the road.
The exact details of the crash are still unclear. Steve McClardy, the owner of the bus company said that he is licensed with the state under the name Superior Coach. However, CBS Atlanta could not find the name in a search of the Public Service Commission’s website. CBS then obtained a cease and desist letter from the PSC which instructed Superior to stop all service until it had obtained a proper license. The letter was issued in February. Superior Coach, also referred to as Superior Transportation, appears to be yet another commercial transportation that is still driving after having been ordered off the road.
Bill Edge, a spokesperson for the PSC, said that Superior has never had a license as far as he knows. When asked why PSC didn’t shut the company down, Edge said, “We have to prioritize the hundreds of carriers that are committing violations, such as movers who are ripping people off. So we have to prioritize with our small staff and go after people who are really hurting the public at the time.”
Morehouse College President Robert Franklin said that it was a frightening day for everyone at Morehouse.
“But thank God not a tragic day,” he added. He said that counselors and a chaplain will be available to students on campus if they need to talk about the accident.
The Morehouse students and passengers in surrounding vehicles were very lucky. But this story is a grim reminder that many of the commercial buses and trucks on the roads are in violation of some sort of order, regulation, or law. And unfortunately, these large commercial vehicles cause a lot of damage in accidents.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a bus accident, contact an experienced Atlanta bus crash lawyer as soon as possible. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule a free consultation.