South Carolina

One killed after tour bus hits 18-wheeler carrying military tank on SC highway, cops say


A South Carolina man is dead after a crash between a tour bus and an 18-wheeler on a major highway Thursday.

A tour bus crashed into the back of a flatbed 18-wheeler truck that was carrying a military tank, according to Trooper Judd Jones of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

The driver of the bus was killed, and the tank was thrown off the tractor trailer and into the woods on the side of I-20, Jones said.

The collision occurred at the 13-mile marker just before noon, and it shut down all of the eastbound lanes of the interstate for several hours, according to Jones. Traffic was diverted off the highway into Graniteville in Aiken County.

The road was closed until just after 3 p.m., when Jones tweeted one lane had been reopened.

Jones said it is hard to say how long the remaining lanes of the highway would be closed as crews attempt to get the tank off the side of the road.

Jones said the tank does not pose any threat, but that it's possible the lane shutdown could affect drivers on the evening commute.

The tank was described as an Armored Personnel Carrier by, which reported it was returning from a training mission at Fort Chaffee and being taken to the South Carolina National Guard training facility in Eastover.

The driver of the Majestic Tour bus who was killed was identified as 73-year-old William White of Rock Hill, reported.

There were no passengers on the tour bus when the collision occurred, Jones said.

"We're just thankful nobody was on the tour bus. it could have been a disaster," Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton said.

Both the tractor trailer and the bus were driving east on I-20, and the crash happened when the driver of the truck slowed down for another collision that had previously occurred at the 14 mile marker, Carlton said. There were actually two tour buses following the truck, and when it slowed the first bus swerved into another lane, but White's tour bus collided into the back of the flatbed.

White, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected through the windshield and declared dead at the scene of the crash, according to Carlton, who said the cause of death was multiple body trauma.

The driver of the truck was taken to an area hospital with what Jones called non-life-threatening injuries.

Both of the tour buses were based out of Rock Hill and were returning from dropping off passengers in Meridian, Mississippi, Carlton said.

Jones said no charges were filed in the collision, but the incident remains under investigation by the South Carolina Highway Patrol.