Huntsville, AL (CBS/AP) - A school bus carrying high school students plummeted 30 feet off an interstate overpass Monday, killing three teenage girls and injuring at least 30 other people, several critically, authorities said.
The bus ended up below the overpass, its front end crushed. Two teen-age girls died at the scene, and a third died of injuries at a hospital, police said. An earlier report had said four were dead.
CBS affiliate WHNT reports the bus was on its daily route to Drake State Technical School, when the accident occurred. At least 23 were injured, 7 critically, according to various agencies.
One student said the accident seemed to happen in "slow motion." A car cut off the bus, and the driver tried to dodge, but hit the car anyway. For a moment, the bus hung on the railing before it fell.
He was not injured, he told WHNT, "only by the grace of God. When I got off that bus, I got down and prayed because me and my two brothers made it off OK."
He and his brothers were three of about 10 passengers who were ambulatory, a fire and rescue spokesman said.
Parents at the scene told WHNT that their children called them from cell phones as soon as the bus hit the ground, and they rushed to the scene.
A bus company spokesman told WHNT that the driver survived the accident, but has not yet been able to tell what happened. The driver has been with the company for 3½ to 4 years, he said.
The accident occurred near several hospitals and the fire and rescue service station, so first responders were on the scene quickly.
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