The driver of a bus that crashed Tuesday morning with the Carolina Mudcats baseball team aboard was issued a citation for driving too fast for conditions, the State Highway Patrol said, and the team’s series with Myrtle Beach was postponed.
Janice Coffman, 52, of Vinton, Va., was driving the Abbot Trailways coach when it failed to make a curve on westbound Clarendon Chadbourn Road, hit a ditch and pitched onto its side about 3:45 a.m.
Several members of the Class A farm team of the Atlanta Braves were taken to a hospital for examination, but all were released, and the team said none had suffered anything more serious than bruises.
“We’re obviously very fortunate,” said Joe Kremer, vice president and general manager of the Mudcats.
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“Some guys will probably have to not play for a few days,” but the team should be back to normal quickly, Kremer said.
The team’s three-game series with the Myrtle Beach, S.C., Pelicans, was postponed, however, Carolina League President John Hopkins said late Wednesday morning.
“For reasons related to Tuesday morning’s bus wreck, the series between the Carolina Mudcats and Myrtle Beach Pelicans will not be played as scheduled,” Hopkins said in a statement.
“The Mudcats team has returned to Zebulon, where players and field staff will continue to be medically evaluated. Decisions on rescheduling will be made at a later time,” Hopkins added.
The bus was taking the Mudcats from a 3-1 win over the Salem Red Sox on Monday night to Myrtle Beach when the crash happened in southeastern North Carolina, in Columbus County.
The bus had been detoured off its usual route by construction, the team and the highway patrol said.
Troopers said seven people who complained of minor pains from the crash were taken to Columbus County Regional Hospital.
There were about 30 players and Mudcats staff on the bus, troopers reported, and the ones not hurt were taken on a county school bus to the county Emergency Operations Center in Whiteville.