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Charter Bus Crashes en route to Masters Golf Tournament

Sixteen people are being treated for injuries when a bus crashed on its way to the Masters Tournament at Augusta National on Thursday morning, according to WRDW and the Georgia State Patrol.

A tour bus heading from Atlanta to Augusta carrying 18 people overturned around 8:45 a.m. on the eastbound side of I-20. The bus, carrying 18 people, went off the right side of the road before going off the left side of the road and flipping over in the median.

The driver of the bus faces several charges, according to a release from the Georgia State Patrol. “Steven F. Hoppenbrouwer, 61, of Gwinnett County, was Charged with DUI and Failure to Maintain Lane,” the release said. Hoppenbrouwer was also charged with failure to wear a seatbelt.

Augusta University Hospital, a Level 1 trauma center, reported they received seven adult victims from the bus crash. Five were in serious condition and two in fair condition, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post. Several others with non-life-threatening injuries were transported to Doctor’s Hospital in Augusta, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

Troopers were told by passengers that the bus was headed to the Masters for the day. “I saw a bunch of people with their passes on, talking to deputies,” a WRDW reporter on scene said.

The Georgia Department of Transportation reported that eastbound traffic was being diverted around the crash in a single lane on the right shoulder, and recommended that drivers find an alternate route.

This tragic event reminds us at Reyes Browne Reilley of the Cardinal Coach Line / Choctaw Casino fatal bus crash back in 2013. The Reyes Browne Reilley Law Firm attorney Spencer Browne represented the family of Paula Hahn in a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from the casino charter bus wreck on the George Bush Turnpike, which a Dallas County jury later ordered Choctaw Nation to pay Ms. Hahn’s family $6M.

Know Before You Ride

Now it is as important as ever to offer a reminder: if you, a family member or friend are considering riding on, or hiring, a coach or tour bus in the United States, take the extra step of researching the carrier or charter company. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, maintains details safety inspection, driver, and crash investigation reports on all U.S. carriers.

To fully research a prospective charter company, you will need the carrier name or U.S. DOT #. Click this link to start your safety search.

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a charter or tour bus accident, please contact us today for a free and confidential consultation. Just complete the contact form on this page, or call us at 214-612-7577.

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