Longview Police say an out of town bus driver tried to go under a railroad overpass bridge, not noticing that there was only a 10- foot clearance. It happened just before 9 Tuesday morning at the railway overpass at the intersection of Green Street and Tyler Streets. With about 40 people on board, a Greyhound bus headed for Dallas took a very wrong turn, crashing into Longview's Green Street railway bridge.
"Peeled it from the front clear to the back" said Longview's police investigator Sergeant Shawn Pendleton.
The bus' roof collapsed, trapping 4 passengers. Passengers, particularly several visitors from Ireland, were startled by the crash and flying glass.
"It's like you see all the panes of glass shattering down on the sides, only on the outsides thank god, other wise we'd have glass everywhere, we thought someone had thrown something down from the bridge, we didn't realize it was the bridge that took the roof off" said Irish sightseer Laura O'Shea.
Eight passengers and the driver were taken to a local hospital.
"They had cut's, bruises, abrasions , I think some of them will have to have some stitches because of debris that fell on their heads" Pendleton said.
Those who weren't hurt came to the aid of their fellow passengers.
"I was asleep and when I woke up I saw a window coming in on my face and I rolled over and then I seen the top was gone said whoa! I slept through that but we got out and we helped them , they trained us over there don't think about it just reaction, get up and go" said Army medic private first class Julia Mercer.
Some suffered from neck and head injuries, some broken bones, but nothing life threatening. Railroad personnel say the bridge did not receive any structural damage. Police say the overpass has been a problem in the past; however, it is marked with low crossing signs, and a height restriction sign.
The uninjured passengers were transferred to another greyhound bus that eventually drove them to Dallas.