Police Chief Connie Cooner Rowe said the investigation into the fatal crash which involved a bus belonging to the Arc of Walker County is a “top priority” for the department.
The accident happened at approximately 8:15 a.m. Friday on Ridgewood Road in Jasper. The bus left the roadway and struck a tree.
Four people were inside the bus at the time of the crash — the driver and three clients of the Arc. The driver, Crystal Pigg, 35, of Double Springs is an employee of the Arc. She was treated and released at UAB Hospital. All three passengers died in the crash. They were Raymond Austin, 57, of Jasper, Phillip McGuff, 45, of Parrish and Thomas Jones, 56, of Jasper. The bodies of the three men were sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Montgomery for autopsies, Walker County Coroner J.C. Poe said.
Funeral services for the three men have been confirmed and are being handled by Collins-Burke Funeral Home. The funeral for Jones will be Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at the funeral home’s chapel with burial following at Bennett Cemetery. Visitation will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. prior to the funeral. A funeral service for Austin will be Thursday at 1 p.m. in the funeral home’s chapel with burial at Walker Memory Gardens. Visitation will be at noon. McGuff’s funeral will be Thursday at 11 a.m. at the funeral home’s chapel with burial to follow at Sardis Cemetery. Visitation is set for Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. inside the funeral home’s parlor.
Officials with the Arc of Walker County could not be reached Monday for comment.
Rowe said Monday the investigation into the accident will take time. She added that no new information concerning the crash was available Monday but more information will be released to the public when it is available.