BURNHAM, MAINE – A bus carrying a touring “A Christmas Carol” production from Schenectady to Maine crashed Tuesday night after the driver fell asleep, sending four to the hospital with minor injuries, state police in Maine said.
A total of 38 passengers were on the bus at the time of the crash, police said. The four injured were taken to local hospitals for treatment. The others, including the driver, were taken to a motel for the night, police said.
The group was identified as the Nebraska Theatre Caravan, which was confirmed on its Facebook page late Wednesday morning. The caravan had just performed Monday night at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady and was en route to a Thursday night production in Orono, Maine.
Those on board ranged in age from 11 to 49, police said. Those injured were in their 20s and 30s, police said.
The crash happened at about 11:30 p.m. on Interstate 95 in Burnham, Maine, just under an hour’s drive from their destination in Orono, when the bus drifted off the right side of the road and overturned. It came to rest down an embankment, police said.
Troopers arrived at the scene minutes later, before the majority of those on the bus had gotten off, police said.
The four injured were taken to hospitals in Pittsfield and Waterville.
Police identified the driver as Charles Barry, 65, of Omaha, Neb. Police cited him for failure to main control of the bus. The bus is owned by Arrow State Line of Omaha.
The Nebraska Theatre Caravan is the professional touring company of the Omaha Community Playhouse.
“The safety of the people in our company is the number one priority,” a statement posted to the group’s Facebook page reads. “We are relieved and grateful that major injuries were not sustained.”
The impact of the crash on the remainder of the company’s tour has yet to be determined, the statement read.
Another view of the overturned bus. (Maine State Police)