A charter bus headed to the Masters golf tournament overturned on a Georgia interstate Thursday, injuring 15 people and snarling traffic as scores of fans made the pilgrimage to one of the sport's premier events. The bus driver was charged with driving under the influence, the AP reports. The bus carrying 18 passengers crashed about 8:45am Thursday, just as fans were driving in for the tournament's first round. Sgt. Chris Wright of the Georgia State Patrol said the driver ran off the right side, then overcorrected and caused the bus to overturn in the median. Some passengers suffered broken bones and head injuries, Wright said, but none were life-threatening. The bus driver, 61-year-old Steven F. Hoppenbrouwer of Gwinnett County, Georgia, was charged with DUI and failure to maintain lane.
Wright said investigators believe Hoppenbrouwer had been using drugs, not alcohol. He said passengers told authorities the bus had drifted off the edge of the road twice before it veered a third time and crashed. "They were starting to become concerned about his ability to drive," Wright told the AP in a phone interview. "One of the guys had even said, 'I'm not riding back with him. I'll call an Uber to get back to Atlanta.'" The bus careened off the road, spun around, and then skidded on its side a good distance, passenger Kip Plowman said. Smoke was filling the interior, he said, as he climbed out a window above his head and pried open an emergency exit in the bus roof. "It's not the way we planned the day," Plowman said. "But everybody's alive. We're thankful for that."