CSRA Traffic

Charter bus en route to Masters overturns I-20 Eastbound, driver charged with DUI

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) - UPDATE

NewsChannel 6 has learned that Steven Hoppenbrouwer has bonded out of jail.

He’s charged with 7 counts of Serious Injury by Vehicle, Failure to Maintain Lane and DUI.

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Emergency crews responding to the scene of a major accident on I-20 Eastbound in Columbia County, near Harlem.

We're told a charter bus on it's way to the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta has flipped on the eastbound interstate near mile marker 186.

Georgia State Patrol received the call at 8:45 a.m.

Officials say the vehicle ran off the right side of the road. The driver overcorrected back to the left, causing the vehicle to overturn into the median.

The driver of the bus, 61-year-old Steven F. Hoppenbrouwer is facing charges of DUI-Drugs, Failure to Maintain Lane and No Seat Belt.

Witnesses on the bus say that the driver had previously run off the side of the road earlier in the trip from Atlanta.

18 passengers were in the bus at the time of the wreck. Investigators tell us that they had left their hotel in Atlanta at 7:30 a.m. to attend the Masters Tournament.

9 people were treated at Doctors Hospital with conditions ranging from good to critical.

As of 10:00 a.m. Friday, patient conditions are 1 in serious condition, 1 in fair condition, 1 in good condition and all others have been treated and released. 

Augusta University Medical Center tells us they have received 10 patients from the accident. 

Chief Medical Officer Phillip Coule tells us five of those patients are in serious condition at this time. The other five have been released. He says some patients may require operations, but none of the injuries appear to be life threatening.

"When the call came in today, we immediately began to assume the worst," said Coule. "You always want to be prepared for the worst, hope for the best.  And in this situation we did that in that we had a large number of staff that we marshaled from other areas.  We brought in additional trauma surgeons.  Some of our trauma nurses from ICU actually came down to the emergency department to augment the staff."

The bus is owned by Jet Executive Limousine, Inc.

Avoid the area if possible

Count on NewsChannel 6 for more details as they become available.


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