[UPDATED: 5/2/13 at 01:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT]
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A charter bus operated by Dolphin Transportation Company out of Naples, Fla., was involved in a fatal crash in Tallahasse, Fla., early Wednesday after it collided head on with a car driving the wrong way on the interstate. It happened on Interstate 10 in Leon County just before 3:30am. The driver of the car was killed.
According to Dolphin Transportation, as many as 50 people were on the motorcoach and 17 people, including the driver, sustained injuries. The company said it is fully cooperating with the Florida Highway Patrol and other agencies.
“Dolphin Transportation wishes to express its sympathy to the family of the driver who died in the accident,” read a statement released by the company.
The driver of the bus will require surgery to repair a broken foot. The other passengers have been treated and released from Tallahassee area hospitals.
Dolphin Transportation was returning students home to Collier County from Pensacola after competing at a USA Skills Competition. Dolphin worked closely with the Collier County School District and all of the students arrived home safely the same evening.
“Dolphin Transportation has been in operation in southwestern Florida since 2001 and our company puts the safe operation of our motorcoaches as its top priority,” read the statement.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates, inspects and rates motorcoach companies on a regular basis and Dolphin received a ‘Satisfactory’ rating, which is the highest of the three. Dolphin Transportation also has Department of Defense approval to transport military personnel. Obtaining certification requires an extensive safety inspection and review process by outside inspectors.
Dolphin Transportation would like to express its gratitude to the following organizations that assisted our passengers to make sure they were safe and well during this accident.
• Leon County Fire Rescue, Leon County EMS, Leon County Sheriff’s Office
• Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Dept. of Transportation, Tallahassee Police Dept.
• Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, Mike’s Limousine Service, Lake Jackson Towing Company
• The American Bus Association
More on the story at nbcnews.com and video at Tallahassee.com.
Source: Dolphin Transportation Company statement, nbcnews.com, Tallahassee.com