Fatal charter bus accident: What we know now

Residents: Intersection is too dangerous

GILMER COUNTY, Ga. -- One person was killed and more than three dozen others were injured in an accident involving a charter bus and a tractor-trailer in Gilmer County on Thursday. Here's what we know so far:

DECEASED VICTIM

Richard Rees, 66 from Marietta, died in the crash. He was driving the tour bus.

WHERE DID IT HAPPEN

The accident happened at the intersection of Georgia SR 515 and Whitestone Road around 11:15 a.m.

PHOTOS: Tractor-trailer, tour bus accident 

WHAT HAPPENED

The Georgia State Patrol said the bus was traveling northbound when a tractor-trailer attempted to make a turn onto SR 515 from Whitestone Road. The tractor-trailer had to stop due to oncoming traffic. While it was stopped in the northbound lane, the tractor-trailer was struck in its left rear tandem area by the bus.

HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE INJURED

According to the GSP, the driver of the charter bus was killed. He was identified as 66-year-old Ruchard Reese of Matietta. Forty passengers were injured. 

Of those injured, one person was life-flighted to Kennestone Hospital in Marietta. The others were taken to other facilities, including  Fannin Regional Hospital, Piedmont Mountainside Hospital and Northside-Cherokee Hospital. By 6 p.m. Piedmont Mountainside said that 29 patients had been treated from the wreck. All had been discharged.

Four people on the bus were not injured.

WHO WAS INVOLVED

The bus was operated by Greatime Getaways, which is based in Marietta, Ga. According to the bus company's website, they offer a "safe, fun, and affordable way to enjoy exciting casino action from the northwest Atlanta area."

The tractor-trailer involved in the accident is owned by Polcon, a title company based in Charlotte, N.C. 56-year-old Charles Howard was the driver. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, they have five trucks in their fleet with no crashes or major safety issues in the last two years. 

WILL CHARGES BE FILED?

The Georgia State Patrol said charges are pending upon completion of the investigation. 

RELATED | Harrah's Casino responds to fatal tour bus crash

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