Beddingfield choral, band students OK after charter bus crash

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Seventeen people were injured when a charter bus carrying Beddingfield High School’s chorus and band crashed early Sunday in South Carolina.

Colleton County Fire Chief Barry McRoy told WCIV-TV the crash happened on Interstate 95 near Walterboro. He said the bus was carrying about 30 students and adult chaperones back to Wilson.

McRoy said the bus was traveling northbound on I-95 when it ran off the left side of the road, crossed the highway’s southbound lanes and traveled down an embankment.

McRoy said two suffered serious injuries, including the driver. Nine others were taken to the hospital by paramedics, and six more arrived later for treatment.

“All of the students are OK minus some cuts and bruises,” a school representative wrote on the Beddingfield Chorus Facebook page. “Another bus and driver has been sent to transport us home.”

Photgraphs posted to the Facebook page show the crumpled charter bus, operated by Louisburg-based AT&T Coach, on the highway shoulder after striking trees and being loaded onto a wrecker.

In a second posting, the Beddingfield chorus said most students and chaperones were en route back to Wilson on Sunday morning and some others were awaiting discharge from the hospital and would be placed on a second bus with Principal F.T. Franks shortly thereafter.

“A big thank you to the Good Samaritan trucker who stopped and helped us open the door and handed out paper towels from his rig to stop any bleeding and a HUGE thank you to Colleton County Fire Rescue and to the team at Colleton Medical Center for taking such good care of us,” the Facebook post states. “They opened up their cafeteria for us to sit, offered to cook us breakfast and even contacted the local band director to meet us there. Walterboro, S.C. is a special place. More than anything, we all thank the Lord above for watching over us last night. Knowing how bad it could have been, we were protected.”

The first bus was expected to arrive at Beddingfield around 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The Facebook post ended with the hashtags #bruinstrong and #aintnothingbutGod.

The Bruins chorus and band had traveled to Orlando, Florida and visited Universal Studios, which offers performance programs for high school bands, choirs, choruses and dance teams.