Source AP ©

Family reunion in Kentucky ends with bus crash that killed one and injured 66

A tour bus carrying members of an extended Alabama family home from a reunion veered off a southern Kentucky highway and slammed into an overpass, killing one person and injuring 66 others.

State police said the driver apparently dozed off shortly before 3 a.m. Monday, while most of the passengers were asleep. The bus veered off Interstate 65, struck an earthen embankment and rammed a concrete bridge pillar about 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of Nashville, Tennessee.

At least two of the injured were reported in critical condition Monday afternoon, including an 8-year-old boy and the 63-year-old driver, police said.

Trooper Steve Pavey said no charges were pending against the driver, and that the woman who died was ejected from the bus.

Hours later, as authorities worked to remove the shattered bus from the roadside, children's pink suitcases, blankets and other luggage were still piled along the highway.

The bus had been rented by a family returning to Alabama from a reunion in Niagara Falls in upstate New York.

State police said there were 42 adult passengers, 23 children and two drivers on the bus. Fifteen people remained hospitalized Monday night.

The passengers included about 40 members of the Jackson family from Forkland, Alabama, and several town officials, said Cynthia K. Stone, city clerk in the west Alabama community of 630 people.

The company had a satisfactory safety rating when it was last reviewed in March, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. It had not reported any accidents or injuries in the last two years.