WALTERBORO — A charter bus full of Ohio high school band members returning from Disney World crashed on Interstate 95 early Sunday, killing the driver and injuring two other adults.
The bus was carrying 43 students and 12 adults from Southeastern High School in Chillicothe, Ohio, Colleton County Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief David Greene said. The bus was on its way back home after the band performed at Disney World.
The bus veered off the highway near the 67 mile marker and hit a tree in the median shortly after 4 a.m., according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.
None of the students was seriously injured, although some were taken to the Colleton County Medical Center with minor scrapes, Greene said.
The bus driver had to be extricated and was taken by ambulance to the hospital in critical condition, Greene said.
The driver later died, Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey said. He identified him as Michael Esber, 63, of Millersburg, Ohio. An autopsy is scheduled for today.
Two other adults were taken to the hospital, Greene said.
Dorchester County EMS helped transport patients.
Three Colleton County School District buses took the students to the hospital’s cafeteria to wait for another charter bus.
Hospital staff fed the students while they waited and let them use telephones to make calls.
Colleton County School District Superintendent Leila Williams and staff members were at the accident scene and the hospital.
Colleton County High School Band Director Tom Finnigan and several band members also showed up at the hospital to support the group.