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Wednesday, Dec. 17, 10:39 a.m.
Sports

UMaine women’s basketball team involved in bus accident on I-95

Driver injured, all passengers taken to hospital for either minor injuries or precautionary reasons

Courtesy of WHDH (NBC) Channel 7 News

A bus carrying the University of Maine women’s basketball team crashed in Georgetown, Mass. on Interstate 95 northbound a little before 9 p.m. Tuesday night, WHDH out of Boston, Mass. reports. The driver has been seriously injured, while members of the basketball team suffered minor injuries.

“It was going southbound, but it crossed over the median and ended in the northbound lane,” Massachusetts State Police Spokesman Kenneth Gaetz said. “The final rest of the bus is on the northbound side.”

Early reports from WHDH said the driver of the Cyr bus suffered serious injuries and was transported by helicopter to Boston Medical Center. However, Gaetz said the driver was transported on the ground, saying “he doesn’t have minor injuries, but they’re not fatal in any nature.”

According to Steve Abbott, who talked on the phone with WLBZ Channel 2 out of Bangor, UMaine head coach Richard Barron and associate head coach Todd Steelman noticed the bus driver in distress and tried to prevent the bus from leaving the road.

“They got up and tried to get there,” Abbott said to the news station about the two coaches. “Just as Richard got up, they hit the median and he got thrown down into the well of the bus. Richard said it was a wild ride across the median and into the northbound lane and into the woods.”

According to UMaine spokesperson Margaret Nagle in a press release,  Barron and three other UMaine team members were brought to an area hospital for observation, including players Ashleigh Roberts and Corinne Wellington and director of basketball operations Samantha Wheeler. Barron is getting treated for minor facial lacerations.

“We’re very thankful that this accident was not any worse than it was,” said Robert Dana, vice president for student affairs and dean of students in a press release. “The thoughts of the entire University of Maine community are with the bus driver and the team as they contend with this very frightening event.”

Gaetz said there aren’t any ideas as of yet that caused the accident, but Gaetz said “weather is not a factor at this time.”

A Massachusetts State Police cruiser responding to the accident was also involved in a crash after pulling off to the scene, according to Gaetz. The officer was transported to an area hospital with minor injuries.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident.

The women’s basketball team was on its way to Boston to face Boston University Wednesday night. According to Abbott, the game will not be played on Wednesday.

“They’re going to come back home,” Abbott said of the team. “We don’t have any players with major injuries as a result of [the crash], but we’ve had a number of players already injured so we had a small squad to begin with. With the injuries sustained tonight we don’t have enough to field a team tomorrow.”

Check back to mainecampus.com for updates on this story.

Jesse Scardina contributed to this story.