WRIGHTSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — A collision between a sport utility vehicle and a bus carrying a high school football team killed the SUV driver and injured three others, authorities said.
The westbound SUV crossed the grassy median at about 1 a.m. Saturday in Hellam Township and collided head-on with the eastbound bus, which was carrying Eastern York players home from a game in Martinsburg, Hellam Fire Chief Eric Strittmatter told the York Daily Record.
None of the 21 students were injured but two coaches and the bus driver were taken to hospitals, and the coaches were later released, the school district said in a statement. Another coach and an athletic trainer were also on the Krapf Bus Company vehicle.
“Although no students were physically injured during the accident, the district will have a crisis team in place on Monday at Eastern York High School for any students, parents or staff who may need assistance,” Superintendent Darla Pianowski said.
The York County coroner’s office identified the SUV driver as Jasmine McCarter, 23, of York, who had no passengers in her vehicle. She died of multiple blunt force trauma and her death was ruled accidental.
Senior offensive/defensive lineman Carl Carbaugh said the “vehicle driving westbound flipped over the median” before hitting the bus, which had been on the road about 2½ hours following the 41-0 loss at Martinsburg. The players “had to evacuate through side windows because the front of the bus was caved in,” Carbaugh said, calling it a “crazy night.”
Parent Tina Smeltzer said she was asleep when her best friend called, saying she had a bad feeling about an emergency call she heard. Her son, Jayden Ness, couldn’t play due to a concussion sustained in last week’s game, but he attended the game. She checked her phone and saw a text from a half-hour earlier saying the bus was 15 minutes from the school. A quick call to her son confirmed that the bus was in the crash and that he was being checked out.
“It was definitely the worst feeling as a parent, not knowing just how bad, if any injuries, your child and fellow teammates/coaches may have,” Smeltzer said in a message early Saturday, the paper reported.
This story has been corrected to show the school district said there were 21 students, not 20, and three coaches aboard, not four.