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2 Huntsville women killed, 44 people injured in Mississippi bus crash

The bus, which left from Huntsville, had 46 people on board. The crash happened around 12:30 p.m. on I-269. Two people died in the crash.
At least two people were killed after a bus crashed in DeSoto County, Mississippi on Nov. 14,...
At least two people were killed after a bus crashed in DeSoto County, Mississippi on Nov. 14, 2018. The bus previously picked up passengers in Huntsville, Alabama.(Source: WMC)
Updated: Nov. 15, 2018 at 5:22 AM CST
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DESOTO COUNTY, MS (WAFF) - Two people are dead and 44 others are injured after a tour bus overturned in DeSoto County, Mississippi.

The bus, which left from Huntsville, had 46 people on board. The crash happened around 12:30 p.m. on I-269. Two people died in the crash.

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The DeSoto County coroner identified the two deceased woman as 70-year-old Betty Russell and 61-year-old Cynthia Hardin. Both are from Huntsville.

Russell’s family referred to her as their rock. They are still making their way to Mississippi to recover the body and plan funeral arrangements.

[READ MORE: ’It was a tragic event’: Survivor describes deadly bus crash in Mississippi]

Many others on board are being treated for various injuries. While officials haven’t commented on the details of their injuries, victims and family members report injuries such as broken ribs, arms and legs, and, in some cases, minor concussions.

If you need to find out which hospital someone is in call Mississippi Highway Patrol at 662-563-6400.

AT least two others involved in the wreck are in critical condition. They have been transported to Regional One’s trauma center in Memphis. Others were taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto as well as the Collierville location, Methodist Olive Branch, Methodist Germantown and several other locations.

The charter company for the bus is Teague VIP Express, located in Anniston, Alabama. The bus picked up passengers from Ashley Furniture off Memorial Parkway in Huntsville on Wednesday morning.

The bus was transporting passengers to Tunica. The city is known for its casinos. Tunica is about a 50-minute drive south from Memphis.

Teague released a statement to WAFF regarding the fatal crash:

“Our hearts and prayers go out to families affected by this tragedy. Please keep them in your prayers.”

Our sister station WMC reports that federal records do not show any crashes for the company in the past two years. Those same records list the family-owned company with a “satisfactory" safety rating with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

However, in a 2017 review, the company was cited for 15 violations, including worn or missing steering systems, an axle problem and a cracked or broken wheel. Some of the violations were “acute/critical violations,” and most of the violations were for vehicle maintenance. The company’s three buses were taken out of service, records show.

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