Bus to the Masters Crashes, Driver Charged with DUI

The bus was carrying 18 passengers, when it crashed outside of Augusta.
April 5, 2018, 5:57pm
Screen capture via WSB-TV Atlanta 

Earlier this morning, a bus carrying 18 passengers to The Masters crashed on Interstate 20 in Columbia County, Georgia, about 15 miles away from Augusta National. According to reports, at least 16 people were taken to local hospitals, five of whom were listed in serious condition. Authorities have charged the driver with a DUI, according to Augusta-based radio station WRDW.

The chartered bus—owned by Jet Executive Limousine—crashed at around 8:45 AM when the driver ran off the right side, then overcorrected, only to roll over in the median, according to WSB-TV Atlanta. The driver, 61-year-old Steven F. Hoppenbrouwer, was also charged with failure to maintain lane and not wearing a seatbelt.

According to CBS, Interstate 20 is a major route from Atlanta that many fans take to the tournament and the crash caused major delays in both directions as authorities worked to the clear the site.

UPDATE (2:33pm)

According to the Associated Press, a Georgia state trooper said that passengers said they were worried about the driver's erratic behavior prior to the crash. According to them, the driver swerved off the road twice before drifting off the third time, which would eventually lead to the bus flipping.

Sgt. Chris Wright of the Georgia State Patrol told AP reporters that authorities speculate that the driver was not under the influence of alcohol, but rather non-specified drugs.