Greyhound attack kills 6, prompts delays

by Elizabeth Putnam

Paul Hughes thought taking the bus would be a good idea because it’s cheap, not because he feared flying.

But after a passenger attacked a bus driver on an Atlanta-bound Greyhound bus Wednesday, Hughes is more intimidated by traveling.

Authorities said Greyhound bus No. 1115 was traveling to Atlanta from Louisville, Ky., when a passenger attacked the bus driver and tried to cut his throat.

The attacker grabbed the steering wheel, causing the bus to tip over.

The bus crashed at 4:15 a.m. 50 miles southeast of Nashville near Manchester.

Officials have no evidence linking the attack to terrorism. The accident involved just one individual, who had a Croatian passport, they said.

Six of the 38 passengers on board, including the attacker, were confirmed dead at the scene.

Thirty-four other passengers were reported injured and were taken to four local hospitals.

A witness said the attacker slit the driver’s throat with a razor or box cutter. Hospital officials said the driver was treated for cuts on his neck.

As a result of the crash, all Greyhound services nationwide were stopped and delayed for safety

“You can’t live in a box and never travel,” said Hughes. “It’s not that I’ll never fly or take the bus, but I’m a little more intimidated to get on board.”

Hughes was traveling from Michigan to Montana when the bus reached St. Paul.

“The bus driver didn’t say anything,” Hughes said. “Other passengers hadn’t heard about it until we reached Minneapolis.”

Buses from the downtown Minneapolis station were delayed for six hours, said terminal manager Clinton Beecham. Bus service resumed Wednesday at noon.

Eight buses were held at the Minneapolis terminal around 9:15 a.m.

A bus that departed the terminal at 6 a.m. en route to Chicago headed back once it reached St. Paul.

“Traveling on Greyhound was becoming more popular since the attacks on Sept. 11,” Beecham said. “This might change that.”

Delayed passengers didn’t seem to mind.

“People are understanding since we are doing this for their safety,” Beecham said.

Beecham would not comment specifically on security measures being taken, but a Greyhound official said discussions were already in progress to increase security since last month’s terrorist attacks.

Jefferson Lines, a Minneapolis-based bus company, halted service from 7:45 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Hughes, who was on his way to Billings to play in a band, was ready to get back on the road.

“I’m going to keep going on to Montana,” said Hughes. “This isn’t going to stop me.”


Elizabeth Putnam welcomes comments at [email protected]