MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - Nine people were taken to Montgomery area hospitals, one with what are considered serious injuries, after a 15-passenger van crashed in south Montgomery County Monday morning.
Alabama State Troopers and Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene on U.S. Highway 231 at the intersection of Sanders Road in what was initially believed to be a church van crash.
State Trooper Cpl. Jesse Thornton later clarified that the van belongs to a youth wrestling group out of Shelby County that was headed to Disney World as part of a wrestling tournament. There were 11 people in the van, including the driver, when it left the roadway and overturned.
Thorton said there were some ejections in the single-vehicle crash though it wasn’t clear how many.
The Warrior Wrestling Club, located in Calera, confirmed its van was involved in the crash. The club issued a statement that said:
“Earlier today a group of wrestlers from AL and TN headed south to compete in the AAU Scholastic Duals at Disney. During the drive down one of the vans was involved in an accident. All parents have been informed. With respect to the parents and wrestlers we will not be disclosing any names or injuries. All we ask is for your prayers.”
The Ford van had damage to its rear and roof with several windows broken out. The front of the vehicle did not appear damaged. The crashed vehicle has since been towed from the scene on the back of a flatbed truck.
The Pike Road Fire Department confirmed it assisted the Rolling Hills Fire Department on the scene and said a medical helicopter landed and that multiple ambulances and fire units were on the scene.
Both the north and southbound lanes of Hwy 231 at Sanders Road were closed and the northbound lanes were diverted to Highway 82, according to the sheriff’s office. The road has since reopened completely.
The cause of the crash remains unclear.