OXFORD, Ala. (WIAT) — Children and coaches from a Georgia dance team have all been released from the hospital after their bus crashed with an 18-wheeler in east Alabama over the weekend.
About 50 people from the Lady Elites dance team were traveling back to the Atlanta area Sunday afternoon after a dance event in Mississippi.
According to investigators, 16 people were taken to area hospitals to be checked out.
Coach Terrell Gibbs told CBS 42 Monday that all of the team members made it home to Georgia in the early morning hours.
“We have some bruises, concussions, fractures, but everybody was able to walk away,” said Gibbs.
Gibbs said the girls on the team range in ages from five to 18. Many were shaken up after the wreck Sunday night.
“Before I could even realize what happened, my dancers in the back were screaming, they were hit, so I kind of just had tunnel vision and was trying to get everybody off the bus. It was really emotional because I went into Dad mode, I went into protect mode because I was trying to make sure everybody was OK,” said Gibbs.
A combination of first responders from Lincoln, Anniston, Oxford, Cleburne County, and the Anniston Army Depot helped transport about 35 passengers who were unharmed to the Oxford Civic Center.
“We decided to go ahead and get the people off the interstate. We contacted Oxford civic center, got some of the city vans, went and picked up people and then transported them to Oxford Civic Center,” said Curtis Cupp, the A shift Battalion Chief for the Oxford Fire Department.
Gibbs said the team is thankful for the volunteers who jumped into action. Church of the Highlands provided the team with a meal as they waited.
“Everybody transporting all of the dancers and parents to the civic center, feeding the team, I just want to say thank you do from the bottom of our hearts.it could have been worse. But thank God we were able to walk away from it,” said Gibbs.
Troopers from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency continue to investigate the crash. There were no updates Monday.
Gibbs said he hopes his team will recover quickly and be ready to dance again soon as the team works to raise money for a studio.
The Lady Elites team thanked the other dance teams from across the country who offered prayers and support on social media after learning about the crash following the competition.