Early Thursday before 9 a.m., a bus driver flipped a tour bus over en route to the 2018 Masters Tournament in Georgia. Of the eighteen passengers, sixteen people were injured, and the driver has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs and failure to maintain his lane.
The driver, 61-year-old Stephen Hoppenbrouwer, ran the bus off the right side of the road, then “overcorrected back to the left and the vehicle overturned in the median” on the Interstate-20 in Columbia County, about 18 miles west of Augusta National Golf Club. Fourteen people are being treated for their injuries at local hospitals.
Officials with Augusta University Medical Center stated they had received seven patients from the crash, five of which are in critical condition. The rest of the injuries range in severity from critical to minor injuries.
The crash caused I-20 to shut down in both directions, but the interstate has since reopened. The bus was moved from the scene at around midday Thursday.
The bus is owned by Jet Executive Limousine, Inc.
While the charge of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) carries the same legal effects as a drunk driving charge, the way that law enforcement tests for drugs differs from methods of testing intoxication. Breath tests do not pick up the presence of drugs, so blood tests are used when officers suspect an individual is driving under the influence of drugs.
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