Phoenix High girls basketball players, coaches and their bus driver avoided major injury and are back home following a collision that totaled their bus Saturday evening about 30 miles south of Bend on Highway 97.
The six players, two coaches and driver who were on the bus following the team’s season-ending game at Crook County were transported back to Phoenix High from the scene of the crash near La Pine by families that made the trip.
“The bus driver did a great job keeping it from being much worse,” Phoenix High athletics director Dave Ehrhardt said. “Our coaches stabilized the scene and helped calm down the kids, and the families of the other kids circled back from an hour away to help get everyone home.” The team arrived back in Phoenix by about 10 p.m. and nobody who was on the bus at the time of the crash checked into a hospital.
“Some of our folks were reporting soreness but nothing seems too serious,” Ehrhardt said.
The accident occurred at approximately 5:30 p.m. when a vehicle traveling northbound on Highway 97 collided with the bus and another car, both traveling southbound, while attempting to pass. The First Student bus driver was able to maintain control of the bus and safely steer it onto the shoulder of the road. The condition of the drivers and passengers of the other vehicles involved is unknown at this time.
“This was a traumatic event and the district will provide support for students and staff as they process the accident and the emotions that go along with it,” Phoenix-Talent School District Superintendent Brent Barry said. “We want to thank the families who helped get our kids and staff back safely, our First Student partners, the Oregon State Police, and our Athletic Director Dave Ehrhardt for all his help.”
No additional information was released at this time by officials.
Source: Phoenix-Talent School District