The Duttons, one of Branson’s most popular music groups, were headed to an ocean cruise port in Cape Liberty, New Jersey, when their tour bus overturned on an Interstate 70 exit ramp in West Columbus, Ohio. Four of the 23 passengers were injured and taken to a hospital, but the family completed the trip in time to begin the week-long Dutton Fan Cruise 2019 on July 6.
A witness told police the bus appeared to be traveling too fast when it rolled onto its side while attempting to navigate the exit ramp, according to WCMH-TV of Columbus. The ramp was closed for more than three hours.
Abby Dutton Wright, one of the last passengers rescued from the bus, sent fans pictures and a news update through the group’s Facebook page.
“We are all blessed to be alive! Many of us have bruises and are pretty banged up. My brother Tim, his wife Judith and my sister Amy all had to be admitted for their injuries. Tim has a puncture wound that is pretty deep in his leg. Judith had a bad laceration on her chin. And Amy had a broken toe AND a broken nose,” she wrote.
“We got tossed around quite a bit then felt us falling and landing on the bus’ side. We were completely pinned. They had to saw open that side/top of the bus to get us out. It took about 20 minutes or so. With all the bedding and mattress and wreckage we felt completely trapped and helpless… we were completely stuck. Amy said she tried to tell us that everybody else was OK and alive, but we never heard that. We thought that people might be dead.
“We just kept saying prayers, and trying to breathe calmly so we wouldn’t run out of oxygen. The prayers helped us feel so much more calm. The spirit was so strong! They finally got us out, and we were so grateful. I immediately asked the firemen and responders if we were the last ones out and if all the others survived. When they said yes, I was overcome with emotion.”
The accident occurred “on a bend that apparently has a crash every other weekend according to the first responders. It’s a very dangerous curve,” she continued. “We decided today that we might as well rent vans and continue on our trip. We all need to rest and recuperate anyway LOL. And our bus has to stay where it’s at in Columbus, OH for the insurance adjuster who can’t look at it for another 5 days. It is totaled… goodbye Dutton bus.”
The Duttons features three generations of performers who appear at their own theater in Branson, Missouri, tour across the country and host a television show on the RFD-TV and Cowboy Channel cable networks.