Kirk said that when Andrew first heard about the East Limestone High School senior trip, he told him he didn’t want to go. One of two tour buses, each carrying about 48 students and adults from the school, independent property valuationscrashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer on BeeLine Highway Expressway as they headed to Orlando International Airport. Florida Highway Patrol troopers at the wreckage of a tour bus that carried a group of students from East Limestone High School.

They were returning from a Bahamas cruise from Port Carnival when the 11:40 a. m. accident occurred in western Brevard County, Fla. , about 4 miles west of Interstate 95. An Orlando Sentinel reporter said 20 students, teachers and chaperones were carried to a nearby hospital. Officials said most had minor injuries and were treated and released.

Instead of joining his classmates on this trip, Kirk said his son went on a mission trip to Guatemala, and was on a layover at the Atlanta airport waiting for his flight to Huntsville when the news media running stories about the wreck. “I just hope he doesn’t hear about it until he gets home,” Kirk said. This is nerve-racking because I know most of the kids down there. Josh Tucker, 18, was on one bus and his mother, whose name was not available, was on the one that wrecked. “It looked like it had gone between two trees,” said Tucker, the senior class president. “At first, I didn’t know if I would be coming home with my mother,” Tucker told the Orlando Sentinel.

History teacher Brett Nave, 27, a passenger in the crashed bus, described the horror of watching the seat in front of him break in half as the bus skidded off the highway toward the St. Johns River. The homebound East Limestone contingent will be divided into two groups and will take separate planes from Orlando to Birmingham.