The country group Shenandoah narrowly escaped a fiery crash when a vehicle carrying a fuel tank exploded in front of their tour bus in Southeast Texas.
Shenandoah spokesman Don Murry Grubbs said Monday that no member of the band or crew was hurt in the early Saturday incident on the Neches River Bridge in Beaumont. Shenandoah was driving east along Interstate 10 after performing in Stafford, near Houston.
Drummer Mike McGuire says their bus was sideswiped by another vehicle then propelled through a massive fireball in the immediate aftermath of the explosion.
Two people in another vehicle were taken to a hospital for treatment. The Texas Department of Public Safety says a suspected drunken driver in a pickup truck will face charges in the wreck.
McGuire posted this eyewitness account on the band's website:
BUS ACCIDENT - Hey y'all....We've had lot of folks inquiring about what happened to us on the bus incident Friday night. Thank you ALL for your well wishes. We are all ok thank God. He was watching out for us no doubt. Below is what happened:
We were coming back from a show Friday night in Stafford, TX just SW of Houston. We had gotten to Beaumont and had just started to cross ‘Naches River Bridge’ when a drunk driver slammed into the back of a vehicle that had just passed us carrying a fuel tank. The tank exploded and we drove thru a fireball as big as a house. It was dark and I was up in front of the bus so I saw it. A big bang where we were side-swiped and all the sudden we were engulfed in a huge fireball. Witnesses behind us told authorities that the flames totally engulfed our bus at one point and you could not see it. Our driver swerved to miss them as they were just in front of us and on fire. We almost rolled the bus over on it's side swerving to miss and if we had've would've likely rolled off the bridge.
Hardly anybody in Beaumont knew we were involved with this accident because we pulled off the other side of the bridge fearing the bus would catch fire and would burn up sitting there. Ironically there was a police car parked right off the bridge where we pulled over. We were able to report the accident to him as soon as we stopped. We waited for an hour or more for the police to finally come back to where we were for our account. We could see the vehicles burning on top of the bridge behind us and traffic was at a stand still from the other side. It was very scary!
It turned out all we had to do was file an accident report and they sent us on our way. There wasn't enough physical damage to the bus to keep us there so we drove on back to Nashville.
We found out later that the other people involved were all alive and expected to recover. Thanks to everyone for the prayers and well-wishes.
Me, our bus driver Greg Lowery and Stan E Munsey joked after it was all over with that we were Meshac, Shadrach and Abendego since we were the ones up in front of the bus to witness the fireball. But just like them, the Lord was watching over and protecting us as well.