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Tour bus headed to the Masters​ golf tournament flips on Georgia highway

Last Updated Apr 5, 2018 3:24 PM EDT

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A tour bus headed to the Masters golf tournament flipped over on a Georgia interstate on Thursday, injuring at least a dozen people and snarling traffic as scores of fans made the pilgrimage to one of the sport's premier events. The bus driver has been charged with driving under the influence.

The bus carrying 18 passengers crashed around 8:45 a.m. Thursday, just as fans were driving in for the tournament's first round, the Georgia State Patrol said. According to CBS affiliate WRDW, no golfers were on the bus. 

The driver ran off the right side, then overcorrected before the bus overturned in the median, according to a patrol news release. 

Of nine patients who were transported to Doctors Hospital, in Augusta, one was in critical condition Thursday afternoon. One person was in serious condition and another was in fair condition, according to a statement from the hospital.

"Our team is uniquely skilled to treat patients injured in a motor vehicle crash," Trauma Services medical director Christopher Hogan said in the statement.

The driver, Steven F. Hoppenbrouwer, 61, of Gwinnett County, Georgia, was charged with DUI and failure to maintain lane, according to the state patrol. Police said he was under the influence of drugs but did not specify what kind.

The crash blocked lanes in both directions about 15 miles from the golf tournament along a major route from Atlanta, where many golf fans fly in before driving the last leg. It took several hours to clear the crash, and even then authorities advised drivers to look for alternate routes.

"Major incident here. Masters traffic affected for sure," state Transportation Department officials said on Twitter.

The bus, which was carrying a group from Atlanta to the tournament, is owned by Jet Executive Limousine, troopers said. The Masters is one of pro golf's four major tournaments, and it draws fans from around the Southeast -- and around the world.

A man who answered the phone number listed for the Georgia-based limousine company refused to comment. "We're not making any statements right now," said the man, who wouldn't give his name.

A phone listing for Hoppenbrouwer was disconnected.