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franklin county times

Stranded Blazers draw attention on interstate

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
March 6, 2001
The Belhaven Blazers blazed a trail through town about 2 p.m. Monday when their bus caught fire on Interstate 20.
About 35 Blazers stood stranded on the side of the interstate just east of the 29th Avenue exit, hopeful another bus would come along in time to make a 4 p.m. game in Livingston.
Bill Denson, head coach of the Belhaven College baseball team in Jackson, said the Blazers were headed to Livingston to make up a Saturday game that was canceled due to rain.
The problem with the bus was discovered when players seated in the back smelled smoke as the bus passed over the 29th Avenue overpass, he said. A few hundred yards away at the 22nd Avenue exit, the bus came to a halt and all 35 aboard were able to escape with lunches and baseball gear in tow, he said.
Meridian firefighters arrived on the scene and extinguished the fire, which was confined to the engine at the rear of the bus.
While baseball players sat along the side of the road or killed time swinging bats, two cars whose drivers were apparently more interested in the team than in the road collided at the exit, scattering debris across the off-ramp. Firefighters who had just finished extinguishing the bus fire simply moved their engine to the edge of the off-ramp to assist those drivers.
Emergency crews said there were no injuries in the accident, but the commotion did draw the attention of the ballplayers, whose coach was busy on a cell phone trying to find another bus.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.

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