By Lauren Odomirok and Melissa Gute
MOORESVILLE – Christopher Reed, the driver of the Holiday Tours charter bus that flipped onto its side while traveling eastbound on N.C. 150 on Aug. 23, is facing charges for failure to maintain lane control.
There were two buses carrying the 991st U.S. Army Reserves transportation unit from Charlotte Douglas International Airport to Salisbury’s U.S. Army Reserve Training Center that day. One of those buses overturned when its rear tire caught the wet grass on the shoulder of N.C. 150 across from Oak Meadow Road, N.C. State Trooper Brett Marr said.
The shoulder gave way, and the bus tipped over into the ditch, which was estimated to be about eight feet deep.
Officials are not sure what speed the bus was traveling at when it overturned, but Marr said the bus was slowing down with the incident occurred to accommodate a car making a left turn.
“There wasn’t anywhere else for it to go but into the embankment,” he said.
The unit was headed to Salisbury after an annual training in Ft. McCoy in Wisconsin. The overturned bus had 45 passengers, and the other bus had 35 passengers, Marr said.
According to Marr, 29 were injured enough to require medical treatment at Carolinas Medical Center-Huntersville, Iredell Memorial Hospital and Lake Norman Regional Medical Center. One female solider was immediately airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.
He added that an additional 15 passengers received treatment on the scene. As of Aug. 26, only one man involved in the incident remained hospitalized.
Parish Goode found relief when he met his son, Josh Goode, at the scene. Parish was getting off work when he received a call from his wife informing him that there had been an accident with a bus of military servicemen.
When Parish arrived at the wreck, he saw his son under the ladder they used to escape the overturned vehicle.
"I was relieved at that point, but I was concerned for the rest of them," he said after seeing someone evacuated by helicopter and several others by a medical bus.