On October 9, 2004, about 5:02 a.m., a 1988 Motor Coach Industries, Inc. (MCI), 47‑passenger motorcoach was southbound on Interstate 55 (I-55) near Turrell, Arkansas, transporting 29 passengers to a casino in Tunica, Mississippi. Witnesses following the motorcoach prior to the accident estimated that it had been traveling about 70 mph. At the exit 23A interchange, the motorcoach veered to the right and entered the grassy area between the exit ramp and the entrance ramp. As it rotated in a clockwise direction, the motorcoach struck an exit sign, overturning onto its left side and sliding in a southwesterly direction. The left side of the vehicle struck the westernmost side of a 2-foot-deep earthen drainage ditch, and the motorcoach continued to roll over. As it rolled, the roof opened up, allowing passengers to be thrown from the open top. The motorcoach landed 65 feet from the drainage ditch and came to rest upside down. Its roof was laying on the ground (top side up), still hinged to the right side of the vehicle.
At the time of the accident, it was dark and there was no highway safety lighting. The roadway was wet from a misting rain, but there was no standing water.