Survivors reflect on Bluffton bus crash 10 year anniversary - CBS46 News

Survivors reflect on Bluffton bus crash 10 year anniversary

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Parents of members of Ohio's Bluffton University baseball team crash victims take part in a news conference, Tuesday, July 8, 2008, before a meeting of the National Transportation Safety Board. From left are, Barry and Lynn Mesley, parents of James Hausma Parents of members of Ohio's Bluffton University baseball team crash victims take part in a news conference, Tuesday, July 8, 2008, before a meeting of the National Transportation Safety Board. From left are, Barry and Lynn Mesley, parents of James Hausma
Baseballs with the name of each of the Bluffton University players who died in a bus crash lie on the ground Monday, March 5, 2007, near the team's diamond at teh school in Bluffton, Ohio A message to each of the players was written on the baseballs. (AP Baseballs with the name of each of the Bluffton University players who died in a bus crash lie on the ground Monday, March 5, 2007, near the team's diamond at teh school in Bluffton, Ohio A message to each of the players was written on the baseballs. (AP
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Those who saw it will likely never forget the scene on Interstate 75 on that night.

It was March 2, 10 years ago, that seven people died in a bus crash, including five members of the Bluffton University baseball team.

“When I stood up and looked around, I wasn't hurt, I just had a cut on my knee — I stood up to look around, I didn't see a bus,” said Allen Slabaugh, now 29.

Slabaugh had been ejected from the bus, along with three other teammates, after it careened off the left lane exit at Northside Drive and plunged to the highway below.

Tim Kay, 30, from Alpharetta, recalled the scene as total chaos. He was sleeping when the accident happened.

"I think I woke up when we hit a side rail or something, and then I woke up, and all I remember after that is spinning, spinning, spinning - it was like a roller coaster we were moving all over the place,” said former pitcher, Timothy Kay.

Kay said he stepped over luggage that had been scattered all over the bus, as well as some people to get out of the windshield and move around to the back end of the bus and open the hatch there.

Changes made to area where crash happened

Today, there are clear changes in that left lane exit where that night took a wrong turn.

Even though the state was in compliance with federal guidelines, the Georgia Department of Transportation has since made several improvements at the site including rumble strips, signage and lights, said spokeswoman Natalie Dale.

"We're not going to allow this to happen again. And we've looked at crash records at this ramp and haven't seen anything in 10 years since this,” Dale said.

GDOT pioneered the yellow "left" tab that you see on exit signs throughout Georgia – and now all over the country. 

In the motor coach industry a huge change has been implemented: the addition of seat belts. Seat belts are now mandatory on buses built after November 2016.

Older buses won't have to be retrofitted.

Survivors of the crash say they at least wish they had had a choice.

"But I can say after the experience every single one of us that was on it is happy we have the option of seat belts now," Kay said. 

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