Bus passenger: ‘Oh my God. When are we gonna stop?’

A Gwinnett County resident on a bus headed to Atlanta early Monday said she knew something bad was about to happen. And it did.

“I know we were traveling too fast for what the road conditions were like, covered in snow,” Shanora Moore, of Lawrenceville, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Seconds later, the huge Princess Tours bus was fishtailing, Moore said.

“Oh my God, oh my God,” Moore said she thought. “When are we gonna stop? When are we gonna stop?”

When the bus stopped, it was on its side on I-95 in Virginia, near mile marker 137, around 4 a.m., according to police. Moore was awake during the crash, but said many passengers were asleep and awoke to the jolt of the bus tipping over.

“All you heard was screams, ows!, and then silence and then more screams,” Moore said by phone.

The right-side windows on the bus broke, sending passengers on that side of the bus onto the snowy road, Moore said. She was able to climb out of the wreckage through a broken window and was fortunate enough to still have her cellphone. Her first call was to her husband, who was asleep in Georgia.

“I don’t know where we are, but we flipped over and we need help,” Moore said she told her husband, who then called 911.

According to Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller, the bus, operated by Indianapolis-based Princess Tours Inc., had departed from New York and was headed to Doraville at the time of the wreck.

Four of the 58 bus passengers suffered serious injuries, but none of the injuries is life-threatening, Geller said. There were no reported fatalities, she said.

Geller said the driver of the bus, Qilong Xiao, 50, of Flushing, N.Y., refused treatment at the scene, and was charged with reckless driving. Xiao was booked into the Rappahannock Regional Jail on $5,000 bond. He was released from jail on his own recognizance and has a court date set for May.

Investigators believe speed was a factor in the crash. Moore said the bus driver was hiding behind passengers when rescue crews arrived.

Moore was treated at a local hospital and later released. Later Monday, she was shocked to learn that the impact of the crash had tossed her nearly two dozens rows forward inside the bus. She also lost a shoe and a sock during the impact, she said.

The bus company made arrangements to transport the uninjured passengers to their final destinations. But Moore said she had no plans to get on another bus since her first round-trip to New York ended in a crash.

“The bus came and picked up the other passengers, but I didn’t want to get on a bus,” Moore said. “Next time, I’ll take a plane.”

Moore and a new friend, a fellow passenger on the bus, planned to fly together to Atlanta late Monday.

— Staff writer Mike Morris contributed to this report.