Two people died when a tour bus with 46 passengers on board overturned on an icy stretch at Interstate 269 and U.S. Hwy. 78 around midday on Wednesday, according to DeSoto County authorities.
"There were two casualties at the scene and there were multiple other persons injured and transported to area hospitals," DeSoto County Coroner Josh Pounders said.
"It happened a little after noon," DeSoto County Chief Deputy Macon Moore said at the scene of the accident Wednesday afternoon.
Moore said there was no entrapment of passengers but in addition to the reported casualties many did suffer injuries and several individuals were transported to area hospitals following the accident.
"We have everybody out of the bus," Moore said. "Some have been transported by ambulance to Baptist-DeSoto and Methodist hospitals," added Moore. "We borrowed some school buses from DeSoto County Schools. We had some who were taken by private vehicle to the hospital."
DeSoto County Road Manager Andy Swims said roads and bridges were slick and urged motorists to use caution.
"We got ready yesterday putting out material," Swims said. "You never want to put out something that is going to be wasted but we began the process. Right now the roads seem to be drivable but we do have slick bridges. We are trying to treat that. I haven't crossed over a single bridge that didn't have a slick coating on it. They are going to be slick until we can get all of them treated. We now have new bridges that are open that we didn't have before. Motorists need to make sure they are not traveling at a high rate of speed."
Swims said roads can refreeze after the sun goes down.
Warmer temperatures are expected for the remainder of the week and this weekend.
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.