47 Injured After Bus Carrying University of Washington’s Marching Band Flips on Highway
47 people were injured after a bus carrying the University of Washington’s marching band flipped on the highway
A bus carrying members of the University of Washington marching band flipped on the highway Thursday, leaving 46 occupants and the driver with minor injuries, according to state troopers.
The Husky Marching Band was traveling to Washington State University in Pullman in a group of six buses when one hit an icy patch on Interstate 90 and rolled onto its side, State Trooper John Bryant tells PEOPLE.
The driver lost control of the bus near the town of George at 5:26 p.m. local time on Thanksgiving night and struck a ditch on the right shoulder, causing the bus to roll and land on its passenger side.
“The cause is still under investigation, but most of the facts are pointing to the road being pretty icy,” he says.
Of the 56 passengers, 47 were taken to nearby hospitals to treat minor injuries, and the rest were evaluated and released. As of 9 a.m. local time on Friday morning, two students remained in the hospital “for injuries that are not believed to be life threatening,” the University of Washington said in a statement.
None of the injuries were believed to be severe, the school said Thursday night.
“The injuries reported were cuts, complaints of general pain and back pain, but the injuries are not believed to be critical,” Victor Balta, a spokesperson for the University of Washington, said in a statement.
The marching band was heading to Washington State University for the annual Apple Cup football game between the two rival teams. The nearly five-hour drive spans almost the entire state, from Seattle to Pullman. In light of the accident, the remaining members of the marching band decided not to play at the game.
“The Husky Marching Band is like a family, and we do everything together,” Brad McDavid, the director of athletic bands at University of Washington, said in a statement. “With that in mind, the band will not attend the 2018 Apple Cup game in respect and consideration of the recovery our students and staff need following our bus accident last night.”
Bryant says the state troopers helped the band find places to stay while they wait for everyone to get out of the hospital.
“We got them lodging wherever we could, and they were working on getting as many as possible up for the big game,” he says.