Georgia bus driver faces DUI charge after crash injuring 13 headed to basketball championship

Credit: New River Valley Regional Jail

Credit: New River Valley Regional Jail

A bus driver faces a DUI charge after allegedly crashing a bus transporting the West Georgia Technical College’s women’s basketball team.

All 13 people on board sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the Friday morning rollover wreck in Pulaski County, Virginia, the school’s spokesman Ben Chambers said in a statement. They were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.

Willie Frank Walker, 59, of Carrollton faces driving under the influence of drugs and marijuana possession charges, according to jail records. He remains in the New River Valley Regional Jail.

According to local reports, the bus drifted into the lane of a tractor-trailer and sideswiped it. The bus then ran off the road and overcorrected, WSET reported. It  ran off the road a second time before hitting an embankment and overturning. Police are also investigating if fatigue is a factor in the crash.

“The college is cooperating with the Virginia State Police in the investigation of the accident,” Chambers said.

The team was headed to Rockville, Maryland for the NJCAA Division III District Championship at the time of the crash. West Georgia Technical College’s acting president Dr. Scott Rule was en route to Virginia to arrange for players to return to Georgia.

“The West Georgia Tech family is terribly upset today that our women’s basketball team has been affected by this accident,” Rule said in a statement. “Our first priority is to ensure all our players receive the care they need and are returned safely home."

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