BELMONT, N.C.-- A tour bus carrying a popular southern gospel group crashed into the back of a tractor trailer and injuringa dozen people includingthreeof the singers.
The bus belongs to Mike and Kelly Bowling from the Gospel group The Bowling Family.
The scene on the Interstate 85 bridge over the Catawba River between Gaston and Mecklenburg counties was chaotic with a half dozen ambulances, firefighters and paramedics treating victims.
Two victims were flown to Carolinas Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.Mike Bowling was one of those flown to CMC.
Mike, along with Kelly Bowling and their three children, Hope, Kaitlyn and Grace were on the bus.
Friday morning Mike Bowling was listed in serious condition. His wife Kelly Bowling was listed in good condition and their daughter Kaitlyn was listed in fair condition. A fourth patient, who has not been identified, is still hospitalized. The other patients have been treated and released.
I didn't know it was that big of an accident, says a driver who was stuck in traffic.
It was so big, it stopped Thursday's rush hour traffic cold.
Investigators say the force of the crash ejected the front passenger seat with a Mike Bowling in it.
That tractor trailer had stopped on the interstate behind another truckwaiting in line for the nearby weigh station.The tractor-trailer then smashed into the truck in front of it, causing even more injuries.
As crews treated crash victims, traffic chaos ensued.
Two hours, a driver said. Other cars just barely moved.
At least an hour, another driver said when asked how long she'd been stuck.
Some drivers hopped the median, hoping to find a different way home.
It's very annoying, a third driver said.At the same time, frustrated drivers realizedtheir situation can't compare to what the crash victims went through.
I just hope they're OK, a driver said.
Police don't know how fast the tour bus was going when it slammed into the tractor-trailer.
Promoters for the band say there were10 people on the tour bus and they were heading to City of Light in Indian Land for a performance Thursday night.
Terah Crabb, from The Crabb Family Gospel group, was going to sing with the family Thursday night. She broke her arm in the accident.
Whether the bus driver will be charged is part of the ongoing investigation.
Cars and trucks were forced to drive up on ramps just to get off the interstate.