Bus accident on interstate backs up traffic for hours


Traffic was backed up in the northbound lanes of Interstate 85 all morning and into the afternoon as a 6 a.m. bus accident was investigated and debris was cleared. Three people were injured and a total of 16 were transported to two different hospitals.

Units from West Jackson Fire/Rescue and Jackson County EMS responded to a vehicle accident with injuries on Interstate 85 North at the 132 mile marker just before 6 a.m. on Friday.

Upon arrival, responders found a bus with a pull behind trailer that had been involved in an accident and had come to rest on its side on the shoulder of the interstate.

The overturned bus and trailer was that of Party on the Moon, a corporate and party band.

West Jackson Fire stabilized and extricated the patients from the vehicle with a total of 16 being transported by Jackson County EMS.

“We utilized three ambulances for this incident,” said Jackson County Emergency Services director Steve Nichols, who reports that Med 5 transported one injured and five uninjured persons to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville and Med 3 transported one injured and six uninjured persons to Northeast Georgia Medical Center. In addition, Med 2 transported a patient and two uninjured persons to Athens Regional Medical Center in Athens. No other injuries were reported but one lane of I-85 North was closed for several hours, creating a traffic backup on the interstate for an extended period of time into Friday afternoon

The incident scene was cleared just before 1 p.m. with all lanes open but traffic remained an issue until mid-afternoon.

Postings on the Party on the Moon website and on Facebook indicated that injuries were not serious.

“Thanking God we are all OK after our accident this morning,” posted Chelsea Zan, who indicated the appearance in Winston-Salem would be missed as those involved make their recovery.

Sandra Grimaldi posted her thanks on Facebook: “Thankful and grateful for all of your messages and prayers! We are all going to be okay! So sorry we won’t be able to give you a show this weekend but couldn’t be any more thankful!”

Georgia State Patrol is investigating the accident.