JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – A Megabus filled with 50 to 60 passengers crashed in Greenwood on its way from Georgia to Chicago.
But the bus crashed just south of the Main Street exit in Greenwood heading northbound on I-65.
The crash tied up traffic for hours and sent dozens of passengers to the hospital.
State Police say 22-year-old Logan Thompson wasn’t paying attention, and his car went off the roadway, into the median barrier. It apparently bounced back across the northbound lanes of traffic and was left partially in the roadway. That’s when they say the Megabus driver hit the back end of that car.
“That car was struck, it was sort of a pinball effect. They went opposite ways, the bus went toward the median, hit the cable barriers, and overturned into the median,” said ISP Sgt. Rich Myers.
Traffic was shut down for nearly two hours. But, it took more than four hours before the bus was upright again and taken off to be inspected for any mechanical problems.
State police now say no pre-existing mechanical issues were found during that inspection. Megabus released a statement saying “Our first thoughts and best wishes are with everyone involved. We will be providing assistance and support for all of our customers involved in this incident. Safety is our absolute priority and we are assisting the authorities with their investigation into the circumstances of the incident.”
Meanwhile, more than a dozen passengers were admitted to local hospitals. Luckily, we now know none of them was seriously hurt.
Seven people went to Eskenazi Health, another seven went to Methodist and four more went to Johnson County Memorial Hospital.
35 people were taken to St. Francis on the south side of Indianapolis to be treated and released for bumps and bruises. That’s also where many passengers had to wait for their next ride. 27 passengers released from St. Francis opted to board another mega bus destined for Chicago.
A couple of those passengers talked about what it was like to be inside the bus at the time of the crash.
“Scary, harrowing, unreal,” said passenger Craig Steichen.
Steichen caught video while inside the bus moments after the crash. Reliving the time of an uncertain outcome is what brought him to tears.
Steichen was in the front seat on the upper level surrounded by glass. He says he’s thankful he was lying down at the time. The man across the way wasn’t.
“But, literally like a Halloween movie, cuts and bruises on his face. He was bleeding all over the place. That would have been me had I been sitting up,” said Steichen.
Devin David was on the lower level sitting on the left side of the bus. That’s the side that hit the pavement after striking a stalled car on the highway.
“One of the guys who was on top of me once we got loose, had an injury on his face. He probably hit his head on the glass I think,” said David.
He was hard-pressed to find the accurate words to describe those moments. He remembers being confused and scared, not being able to find his shoes and the sounds.
“People were wailing, people stuck, couldn’t move, people’s belongings strewn about everywhere,” said David.
The passengers say they are lucky to have survived. They arrived several hours late to Chicago, but just happy to be safe.
Megabus is planning to continue to run buses on its regular schedule.