What started as a quiet ride from Tallahassee to Jackson turned chaotic Wednesday. Just before noon, a Greyhound bus skidded across Highway 49 and toppled into a median. Rescue teams raced to the Stone County line to search the wreckage for survivors.
Thirty two people were injured when their bus flipped over. Amazingly, many of them walked away from the wreck with little more than some scrapes.
It didn't take highway patrolmen long to figure out how a Greyhound bus ended up in Highway 49's center median.
"There were two buses. The bus that was involved in the accident was the lead bus," James Snyder with the Mississippi Highway Patrol said.
And according to Snyder, the driver of that bus reportedly made two big mistakes. First, he made a wrong turn when he reached Highway 98. Instead of heading to Jackson, the Greyhound was rolling toward Wiggins.
"Apparently got confused on Highway 49 north and 49 south. They came south. And they just realized they were headed in the wrong direction," Snyder said.
It was at that moment when investigators say the Greyhound bus driver dropped his map book. Skid marks show how the bus swerved off the shoulder and across both lanes of 49.
"And momentarily lost control and of course overturned the bus in the median," Snyder said.
The Carnes Volunteer Fire Department was one of the first rescue squads to arrive at the Highway 49 scene.
"There was people on the side of the road, over here on the side of the bank. You had people laying on the ground. You had one person inside the bus," firefighter Kacey Jones said.
That person was safely pulled out of the Greyhound. And almost three hours after the initial accident, the bus was uprighted and towed out of the grassy ditch.
"Everybody is highly lucky in this accident right here. Everybody is lucky," Jones said.
According to Triple A Ambulance Service, a helicopter flew two passengers to Forrest General Hospital. Ambulances transported 11 people to medical centers in Hattiesburg and Wiggins. And a school bus brought the other 19 injured bus riders to Wesley Medical Center in Hattiesburg. None of the 32 injuries were considered serious.