Nearly two dozen University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) employees were treated for injuries and six hospitalized after the bus they were riding in careened into a tree.
The bus was carrying 26 pediatric residents from UAB who had been at a retreat at Camp McDowell. The group was headed to the home of the program’s director for a final social event around noon on Friday when the single-vehicle accident occurred in Winston County near Arley, about 60 miles northwest of Birmingham, Alabama.
The bus was reportedly traveling down a steep hill through an intersection when its brakes appeared to go out causing the bus to hit a large rock and strike a tree.
Twenty-one people – including the bus driver – were treated at UAB for injuries, and six were taken straight to the emergency department trauma bay, UAB trauma surgeon Dr. Jeff Karby told WBRC. At least one patient was listed in serious condition Saturday. As of Sunday, the hospital listed the conditions of those hospitalized as ranging from good to fair.
The Blazer Express bus involved in the accident was operated by First Transit. The bus driver was put on administrative leave pending the investigation, according to a statement by First Transit.
There were an estimated 119,000 large truck and bus crashes resulting in injuries in 2016, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and 4,440 of them involved fatalities.