Students at the University of North Carolina were out celebrating the end of classes Tuesday. But by 10:30pm, the revelry turned to tragedy on a party bus moving through the streets of Charlotte, NC. Police say UNC Charlotte student Polly Rogers died when she fell out of a bus window and was struck by two cars. "The cars hit her before [other passengers] could even get the bus driver to stop," the father of one student tells WSOC. He says his son told him Rogers, a 20-year-old Zeta Tau Alpha sorority member studying special education, leaned against an emergency exit window with a broken latch. The owner of Charlotte Party Charters disagrees. Describing this as "one of the worst times of my life," Victor Rabb says "one of the kids on the bus opened the emergency window and the lady fell out."
Police, who say speed was not a factor, have yet to comment on how the incident unfolded after the bus departed UNC Charlotte and headed toward a bar with 55 to 60 people on board, per WBTV and the Charlotte Observer, though alcohol will be a focus of the investigation. Before it was taken down Wednesday, a website for Charlotte Party Charters, which faced previous alcohol violations, noted alcohol is allowed on buses if all riders are at least 21, per WSOC. But though its terms of service state the person renting the bus will be held responsible for underage drinking, an Alcohol Law Enforcement agent says the bus driver is actually in charge. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help with memorial costs.