CAROLINE COUNTY, Va. (WTVR)–Scorched and broken parts from an All Nations Coach, Inc. bus are scattered on the ground as passengers try to figure out how they’re going to get home.
Those riders are headed from North Carolina to New York but find themselves stuck at a truck stop in Caroline County.
Bashir Joseph, who missed his grandmother’s funeral, is frustrated and had some harsh words for the company. He says he was floored by the reaction of the bus driver when their bus broke down shortly before 1 o’clock Tuesday morning.
“I missed her funeral. She raised me and I was on a bus that was broken down. You can’t get a refund on that, there’s nothing you can do to make that better,” Joseph said.
He told CBS 6 News that when the bus started having problems the driver was able to make it to a gas station off of exit 98 near Kings Dominion. Joseph says they were there for close to eight hours before a mechanic was sent to their bus.
He says when the mechanic fixed it, they headed out but only got to exit 104 before the bus broke down again.
“The driver was in a panic. He had no protocol on what to do in an emergency. He didn’t know who call or what to do. It’s sad because the Sheriff had to be the one to look on Google to find the company and say “Hey, what are you going to do about this?”
The intense heat hit the passengers hard as they waited outside of the Flying J Truck stop off of route 207 in Caroline. Some took their children inside and after 14 hours they called CBS 6 News and the Sheriff’s office.
Deputies there arranged for school buses to shuttle the group to a nearby travel stop and a Denny’s Restaurant.
There were 53 total passengers on the bus, but only 35 were taken to the Denny’s. Two people, including the driver passed out and had to be taken to an area hospital. The other 16 people found a way home, according to Major Scott Moser with the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office.
The group that ended up at the Denny’s was given free food and water while they waited to see if the company’s owners would send another bus.
CBS 6 News tried to contact All Nations Coach, Inc. which is based out of Staten Island, New York. No one returned our call. Joseph says he’s grateful for help from the Red Cross, Denny’s and the county’s fire and EMS workers who stayed with passengers throughout the day.
He says they are now waiting for the company to send them another bus, or arrange to get riders to Greyhound, so they get back to New York.