Bus of high schoolers returning from Disney World crashes

All of those on board were taken to 10 hospitals in Alabama and Florida, either by helicopter or ambulance, to be checked out or treated. The interstate was closed in both directions as the injured were flown to hospitals and a free-standing emergency room in rural Baldwin County, said Chris Elliott, a Baldwin County commissioner who helped at the county emergency management center following the crash.

In one photo, seen above, Caligone is posing as the company's Employee of the Month in March 2009, suggesting he's been with First Class Tours at least nine years. Her brother Josh, who was also on the trip, was traveling on another bus and said the family tried frantically to get Bianca on the phone after the crash. Those had to either be brought up by ropes or rappelling individuals from the fire department during the rescue operation. She had pain in her legs and bruising but was otherwise unscathed, and taken to a hospital for evaluation, he said.

Students from the Channelview Independent School District were aboard the bus, which was owned and operated by First Class Tours.

According to Alabama State Troopers the person that died was the driver of the bus.

There was one critical injury and five serious injuries in addition to several minor ones.

News 5 has confirmed that the passengers aboard the charter bus are band members from Channelview High School (Texas).

Baldwin County Sheriff's Office Major Anthony Lowery said the bus ran off the highway before dawn.

According to first responders, the bus, carrying 45 people, veered off road before crossing a bridge and crashed down the ravine. "She just remembers that she was asleep and the next thing you know, she felt a bump, and then another huge bump".

The bus was one of two carrying the school band and chaperones back from a band competition at Disney World in Florida.

The company and Texas Governor Greg Abbott offer their prayers to the families involved. "Texas is prepared to offer any assistance necessary as we rally around the entire Channelview High School community during this hard time". They were going home to Channelview, Texas, a community about 15 miles from Houston.

  • Tracy Klein