Army Base Bus Wreck in Alabama Injures 23, 3 Marines Critical

March 11, 2008

A charter bus loaded with members of a Marine Reserve anti-terrorism group overturned at an Alabama Army base, injuring 23 people, including three Marines who were hospitalized in critical condition Monday.

The military said the cause of the crash Sunday was under investigation.

The bus, which ended up on its right side in a curve with military gear and debris littering the ground, was carrying members of E Company, Anti-Terrorism Battalion, 4th Marine Division with reservists based in Tallahassee, Fla., and the Birmingham suburb of Bessemer.

The military said all the injured were from the First and Headquarters platoons based in Bessemer.

The crash occurred about 9:20 a.m. at Fort Rucker, an Army aviation training center located in southeast Alabama about 90 miles south of Montgomery.

A statement from Fort Rucker said the bus was carrying Marines who were departing a training area after a weekend exercise.

The four most seriously injured Marines were airlifted by an Army medical helicopter. The Army said they were initially listed in critical condition, but one Marine was doing better Monday.

While the Army said the cause of the crash was under investigation, The Dothan Eagle quoted a state trooper as saying excessive speed was a factor.

“It went into a curve a little fast, the driver lost control and it flipped a couple of times,” state trooper Sgt. Scott Brasher told the paper.

State troopers did not immediately return a call to state headquarters in Montgomery Monday.

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