Nashville, TN Greyhound Bus Accident, Nov 1988

45 HURT AS BUS SWERVES, SLIDES OFF WET ROAD.

Nashville, Tenn. (UPI) -- A Greyhound bus swerved in the rain to avoid a car, then flipped and slid off an interstate Saturday, injuring 45 people, but three babies "miraculously" survived with only cuts and bruises, police said.
The car sped away after causing the accident on Interstate 65 just north of Nashville in a construction zone where the highway narrows from four to two lanes, investigators said.
The injured passengers were taken by helicopter and ambulance to six hospitals. Two passengers, a 43-year-old woman and 37-year-old woman, were critically injured.
"You didn't know whether you were going to live or die. It was like you were rolling dice," said DARWIN MOORE, a passenger aboard the bus that was en route from Cleveland to Tallahassee, Fla.
"All I remember is waking up and the bus spinning off the road," said passenger KEITH FAY. "I sort of blacked out after that. Then I clawed my way up and out and started helping other people crawl out the windows."
Police Officer Gary C. DeBaca said the accident happened after "a car pulled in front of the bus. The bus took evasive action to avoid hitting that vehicle, lost control and turned over sideways and slid off the interstate. The other car kept going."
C. DeBaca said three babies -- ages 5 months, 11 months and 18 months -- were aboard the bus, and none was seriously hurt.
"Miraculously, none of the babies or anyone else on board was killed. The babies survived with just cuts and abrasions. They were laying in their mothers' laps when we got there," C. DeBaca said.
"The bus is totally wrecked. Everyone was hurled throughout the bus. None of the passengers were wearing seat belts, of course, becase buses are not required to have seat belts. When we got there, everybody was in a state of shock. It's amazing anyone lived through it," he said.
The bus was carrying about 50 people. No one aboard could give police a description of the car that pulled in front of the bus, C. DeBaca said.
"We absolutely have no description whatsoever of that car at this time," he said. "Due to the inclement weather and how fast it happened, even the people who witnessed it can't give us anything concrete."
A team from the National Transportation Safety Board was en route to Nashville to investigate the crash. C. DeBaca said a blood sample was taken from the bus driver, RONALD LIGHTSY, 44.
"It will be analyzed, but I don't think alcohol will be a factor at all. I think he did everything he could to take evasive action, and he just lost control. The bus driver said he was doing the speed limit and there's nothing to indicate he wasn't."

Daily Herald Chicago Illinois 1988-11-20