U.S. 17 car, bus collision sends 18 to hospitals

Eighteen people were taken to area hospitals Thursday after a two-vehicle crash on U.S. 17 in northern Beaufort County.

A 1997 Ford Taurus, driven by a 27-year-old Mount Pleasant man, was traveling north on U.S. 17 about 3:45 p.m. when the vehicle crossed the center line and collided with a 24-passenger Champion charter bus near the intersection of U.S. 17 and Kinloch Road, said Cpl. Paul Brouthers, highway patrol spokesman.

The driver of the bus and 16 passengers were taken by ambulance to Beaufort Memorial Hospital, said Sheldon Fire Chief Buddy Jones.

Anthony Nelson, the driver of the Taurus, had to be cut free from the sedan, and was flown by helicopter to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Jones said.

Jones declined to say whether any injuries sustained in the crash were life-threatening.

The crash slowed but did not halt traffic on U.S. 17.

Jones said emergency crews diverted traffic onto two new lanes of U.S. 17 still under construction to avoid lengthy delays.

The crash is under investigation, Brouthers said.