Report: Student athletes evacuated charter bus in Wilson County right before fire

February 3, 2019
Credit: Hampton Unversity student

A team of student athletes from Virginia is thankful to be okay after the charter bus they were riding on caught fire in Wilson County on Saturday night.

About 40 track and field student athletes from Hampton University were on the bus Saturday night headed back to Virginia following a track meet at the University of South Carolina.

A witness told WRAL the driver pulled over when smoke started coming from the back of the bus. The students remained on the bus for several minutes before deciding to evacuate to get away from the smoke.

After the students were off the bus, it went up in flames.

One student, who did not want to be identified by name, sent a photo to WRAL and described the horrific scene. He told WRAL that the students had only been out of the bus for about 10 minutes before the explosion.

The State Highway Patrol confirmed the call came in around 10:15 p.m. on Saturday. The bus had pulled over on Interstate-95 near Mile Marker 120 in Wilson County.

When crews arrived to the scene, the bus was already on fire. The bus driver was able to get everyone off the bus and no one was injured.

Freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors were all riding on the bus. One student told WRAL a school bus carried the team to Hunt High School in Wilson, where they were met by the Red Cross.

A new bus was deployed from Virginia to carry the students back home. The students were back at Hampton University by 5:30 a.m.

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