A tour bus carrying several dozen people, mostly senior citizens taking a wine tour, was involved in a devastating and fiery accident on the morning of Friday, October 23, 2015. The bus had begun its journey less than a half-hour before the horrific accident took place in the south of France, not far from the Bordeaux region whose wineries are world-renowned. A little after 7:00 a.m., the bus collided with a large truck carrying timber and being driven by a man who was transporting his three-year-old son at the time of the accident. Both the driver and the young boy were killed following the crash, as were 41 tourists on board the bus at the time of the accident.
When the two vehicles collided, flames quickly engulfed both bus and truck, leading to a high fatality count and leaving eight more people alive, but injured. All those hurt in the crash were quickly transported to an area hospital for medical evaluation and treatment. Four of the injured parties were reported as being in serious or critical condition; there is no word yet on whether any of the injured parties are expected to survive. The identities of the deceased have not been released, and there is some concern that the list containing passenger names may have been destroyed in the flames that consumed the bus following the crash. Identifying deceased passengers may be further complicated due to the damage done to the bodies by the fire after the crash.
The driver of the bus is being hailed as a hero by members of the French government and those he assisted, as he helped the surviving people free themselves from the wreckage of the bus while waiting for first responders to arrive on scene. Investigating authorities have reported that the wood on the truck and the full gas tank of the tour bus may have contributed to the fast spread of the vehicular fires. The collision is being called the worst accident to take place on French roadways in more than three decades.