Ruston Kelly and Touring Crew Escape Tour Bus Fire In ‘Insane’ Morning Incident

“Bus caught fire earlier this morning and it was crisis drill mode to get off in time,” he explained.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

September 10, 2023


8:52 pm

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Ruston Kelly; Photos Courtesy Instagram

Ruston Kelly and his touring crew encountered a frightening incident on Sunday morning (Sept. 10) as their tour bus caught fire, forcing them into an emergency evacuation. The incident unfolded unexpectedly, leaving Kelly and his touring team to respond swiftly and ensure everyone’s safety.

The singer/songwriter took to social media to provide an account of the incident, expressing gratitude for the outpouring of concern and support. 

“Crisis Drill Mode”

Alongside a video showcasing the tour bus engulfed in flames with black smoke rising into the air above it, he wrote, “We’re all safe thanks for all the kind messages, but HOLY F*** that was insane.” 

Ruston Kelly Tour Bus Fire; Photo Courtesy Instagram
Ruston Kelly Tour Bus Fire; Photo Courtesy Instagram

He went on to share more details about the terrifying experience. 

According to Kelly, the evacuation was conducted in “crisis drill mode,” ensuring that everyone on board could exit the bus in time. 

“Luckily we all got most of our belongings,” he added. “Gear in the trailer is fine and a new bus is on the way so we can finish this tour totally transformed by fire.”  

Tour Bus Fire

He closed his post by admitting that they will be “haunted” by the tour bus fire “forever.” 

Sunday Morning Fire

While not confirmed to be Ruston Kelly’s tour bus, a report from shared that a tour bus that was heading westbound on Interstate 80 in Clinton Country, PA was engulfed in flames around 9:30 am on Sunday. None of the 10 people on board were injured, according to Sugar Valley Fire Chief Chris Miller. When emergency personnel arrived at the scene, the bus was fully involved. 

The report states that the fire appears to have started in the ceiling at the back of the bus. The occupants of the bus, which was owned by a company in Tennessee, reportedly walked nearly a mile to a truck stop following the fire.  

The incident brought Kelly’s fans and the music community together, with many expressing their relief that he and his team are safe. 

Ruston Kelly Tour Bus Fire; Photo Courtesy Instagram
Ruston Kelly Tour Bus Fire; Photo Courtesy Instagram

Concern From Friends and Fans

Artists and songwriters such as Maren Morris, Tenille Townes, Natalie Hemby, Jennifer Wayne, and more took to the comments section to share their concern. 

“So glad you’re all okay,” Morris wrote, while Townes shared, “So glad you guys are ok that is terrifying.”  

Award-winning songwriter Natalie Hemby wrote, “Well, your music is fire so you gotta be careful where you play it 🔥…So glad you’re okay…”

Fans were also quick to send their well wishes to Ruston Kelly. The comments section is filled with heartfelt messages for the singer and his team. 

Ruston Kelly; Photo by Alysse Gafkjen
Ruston Kelly; Photo by Alysse Gafkjen

“I feel like a song will come from this. Insanely happy you guys are alright,” one fan wrote. 

Another Instagram user shared, “Absolutely terrifying. I’m so glad y’all are ok.” 

The news comes just five months after Ruston Kelly released his highly-anticipated third studio album, The Weakness. The project arrived on April 7 via Rounder Records and features the fan-favorite single, “Breakdown.”


YouTube video

The Weakness includes 12 tracks that dive deep into Kelly’s journey through loss and personal growth. The inspiration for this introspective collection of songs came from the multitude of life-altering changes he faced in the preceding year. 

Collaborating with producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Nate Mercereau (known for his work with artists like Sharon Van Etten, Leon Bridges, and Maggie Rogers), The Weakness represents a significant departure from the elegant simplicity of Kelly’s first two albums. This resulting body of work not only boasts a kaleidoscopic sound but also showcases some of Kelly’s most enlightening and revealing material to date.


Ruston Kelly - The Weakness
Ruston Kelly – The Weakness

“With every record I make, I learn so much about myself and who I am as a human and what type of man I want to be,” Kelly previously shared in a press release. “In a way it’s a form of self-help, or like I’m building a fort against a lesser version of myself. Then the goal from there is to just keep on growing.”

Additionally, Ruston Kelly is currently on the road serving as support for Noah Kahan on Kahan’s headlining Stick Season Tour, which kicked off May 26 in New York City. The trek also features support from Joy Oladokun, Josiah and the Bonnevilles, Briston Maroney on select dates.

His next scheduled tour date takes place on Tuesday, September 12 at KEMBA Live! in Columbus, Ohio. 

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.