Driver killed, Texas students hurt in Disney trip bus plunge

Bus carrying band students from Texas crashes near the Alabama Florida line at least 1 dead

A charter bus carrying more than 40 Texas high school students home from a trip to Disney World plunged into an Alabama ravine early Tuesday morning, leaving at least one dead and more than a dozen injured, local authorities said. One patient remains critical, he said, and five are in serious condition.

Traffic was shut down on both sides of the interstate. The bus was returning to Texas from Orlando after a band competition at Disney World.

First Class Tours, which owns the bus that crashed, said in a statement: "We pledge our assistance in cooperating with local authorities in the investigation".

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also released a statement in response to the crash.

Other violations that were not directly related to driving included "a false report of drivers record of duty status" and four bus inspections that turned up violations requiring the vehicles to be immediately taken out of service, according to records.

Robyn Bradley Bryan, a spokeswoman for the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, said in an e-mail that there were "multiple injuries" in the early morning crash.

"They're a very successful band", said Kramer, adding that the second busload of students was due back at Channelview later on Tuesday.

Rescuers used every piece of equipment on every truck to reach them, Mack said: "This is what we call an all-out".

Mack said about 45 people were on board, and were brought to 10 hospitals in Alabama and Florida.

"Just hearing her voice and that she was OK, it was good", Torres said.

Helicopters and ambulances took the injured to three hospitals in Mobile and Pensacola, Florida, plus a free-standing emergency room in rural Baldwin County, Elliott said.

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

He said he looked down to see the bus lying on its side near the base of a concrete embankment, its front end crumpled. It arrived at the high school there Tuesday afternoon with a police escort.

The creek runs through the ravine, and there is water in the creek, but the bus did not land in the water, said Baldwin County Sheriff's Maj. The interstate was closed for hours as officials rescued the victims.