On March 7, 2017, a tour bus carrying senior citizens from Texas was hit by a train in Biloxi, Mississippi. The bus had come from the Austin area and was transporting passengers to one of Biloxi’s casinos. Four people died as a result of the crash. Those killed have been identified as Peggy and Ken Hoffman from Lockhart, Texas, Clinton Havran of Sealy, Texas, and Deborah Orr of Bastron, Texas. Thirty-five people were hospitalized.
The bus became stuck on the train tracks before the fatal collision occurred. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), who is investigating the crash, revealed that the driver may have followed a GPS set for commercial vehicles rather than following directions from the tour company. This particular railroad crossing has a hump that has previously caused tractor-trailers to bottom out. NTSB Investigators said that a preliminary report should be ready within two to three weeks.
Since 1976, the crossing has had at least 17 accidents involving vehicles and trains. However, 11 of these incidents involved moving cars or trucks. Two other wrecks involved cars which were stalled or stuck. In August of 2014, a soft drink delivery truck was hit by a train after bottoming out at the same crossing. A tractor-trailer was also hit after becoming stuck at the crossing in August of 2014.
Survivors and family members have begun filing lawsuits against the railroad (CSX Transportation) and the owner of tour bus (Echo Transportation).