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Church Bus Flips in Mississippi; Killing 1, Injuring 23

A church bus carrying a church youth group from Louisiana to Georgia flipped Sunday July 12 at around 10:20 a.m., killing one and injuring 23. The accident took place on Interstate 20 near Meridian, Mississippi. The Lauderdale county coroner, Clayton Cobler III, reports that a rear tire blowout caused the bus to flip three times before landing on its side and trapping passengers underneath. A group of National Guard soldiers were traveling on I-20 when the accident occurred and helped extricate the injured. They also managed to lift the bus up off the two people trapped underneath and get them out.

While some sources report the deceased to be an 18-year-old male, the Shreveport Times reports that he is 14-years-old. The young man was pronounced dead at Jeff Anderson Hospital. Passenger injuries range from severe pelvic, back and chest injuries to minimal scrapes and scratches. Sources report that three passengers were airlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, while 13 were taken to Rush Foundation Hospital and six were taken to Regency Hospital of Meridian. Many of those injured were released from the hospital late Sunday.

The bus left the Shreveport, Louisiana church at 4:45 a.m. The youth group was traveling to Macon, Georgia to attend a week-long Christian youth camp called Passport, which is held at Mercer University. At the time of the accident, the bus was two miles west of the Alabama state line. The rollover happened near the visitor center. The First Baptist Church of Shreveport, Louisiana learned of the accident shortly before they began their Sunday morning worship. Dr. Greg Hunt, senior pastor of First Baptist, expressed appreciation for the heroic actions and support of those involved. The congregation is pulling together to overcome this unfortunate tragedy.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time a church bus has been involved in an accident. In Texas, a fatal church bus accident was also caused by a tire blowout.


  1. Gravatar for Brad W.

    13 were carried to Rush Foundation Hospital, 6 were carried to Riley Hospital, and 3 were carried to Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center.

  2. Gravatar for Rick Cole

    Please bus fleet owners start using Tyron Tire Blowout Portection devices...this is an unnecessary tragedy.

  3. Gravatar for Gerry McGill

    Rick, would you be willing to elaborate on the Blowout Protection devices, i.e. what they are and how they work?

  4. Gravatar for Rick Cole


    Our technology can be seen on our web site at The Tyron system blocks out the drop center of a wheel, so when a tire blows out, the wheel rim cannot come into contact with the road surface...steering, braking, and control are maintained. In a normal tire blowout, the wheel rim will contact the road surface, dig into the pavement, and then take the driver on a wild ride right or left depending on which steer (or front) tire blows out. That is why right steer blowouts end up in ditches off the side of the road (resulting in flips) and left steer tire blowouts cross the median generally into oncoming traffic. Tyron has been tested to the extreme by all the major tire companies and is used by police, fire, rapid responders, trucks, buses, etc. worldwide.

  5. Tragic story. It is great to see that new safety products like the Tyron Tire Blowout Protection is out there. Have any of those made it to Hawaii yet?

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