Driver charged with DUI after Masters-bound bus overturns

A tour bus carrying 19 passengers has overturned on a highway in Georgia.                        WRDW-TV

Seven of the passengers were transported to Augusta University Medical Center.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - According to officials with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, the driver of the bus, 61-year-old Steven F. Hoppenbrouwer, has been charged with DUI and Failure to Maintain Lane. At this time, people are being told to avoid the area.

Sgt. Chris Wright of those Georgia State Patrol told The Associated Press one particular passenger told troopers he had decided before the wreck "I am not driving back together with him". Various reports had as many as 16 passengers being taken to a nearby hospitals, with an area television station reporting five were listed in serious condition.

Doctors Hospital is also treating three people from the crash; one remains in serious condition, while the other two are in fair and good condition. The bus was driving patrons to Augusta National to attend the tournament when Hoppenbrouwer ran off the right side of the road and tried to overcorrect.

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The bus flipped while on a Georgia interstate highway, injuring several people, per the report. The company is based out of Suwanee, according to its website.

Eighteen passengers traveling from Atlanta were on board, the state patrol said. "They are fortunate. They went to a hospital to get checked out", Claud said.

At least one lane of traffic is blocked both directions.

The bus was taking 18 travellers from Atlanta into the tournament in Augusta when it crashed Thursday morning on Interstate 20.

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