A Washington high school bus rolled near northbound Interstate 5 in Edmonds Saturday night. According to My Northwest, the school bus was carrying a boys basketball team from a Shoreline high school. The vehicle rolled on SR 104 late at night when the kids were returning home from a game they played in Mt. Vernon.
Shoreline Fire reports that nine of the high school students suffered minor injuries and were taken to the hospital. Others met up with their families who went to get them.
Washington State Patrol Trooper Mark Francis reports that three coaches and the driver were aboard the school bus that rolled. A preliminary investigation into the accident reveals that faulty bus equipment may have caused the crash, Francis says.
KOMO News reports that the bus tipped over just after 10 p.m. and that the vehicle “drifted off the road into a ditch, came back into the road, hit the curb and rolled onto its side.” No other vehicles were involved in the accident.
Francis told the news source that the driver was taking an off ramp at State Route 104 because the brakes weren’t working. She tried driving the shoulder to make a turn, but was unable to make it.
Sixteen people altogether were on the bus, including 12 high school boys, the three basketball coaches, and the driver.
The nine taken to the hospital had injuries consisting of cuts, concussions, and one player with a broken arm.
In the moments before the high school bus rolled on its side, King’s High School player Christopher Martin said it felt like the end was coming.
“There were people flying from the topside down. People were hitting the windows on the bottom side. Sparks were flying,” Martin said.
Martin said the driver suddenly exited, screaming that the brakes weren’t working.
Another player — David Barhanovich — suffered a concussion. He literally thought he was going to die in the accident.
“The bus was going really fast,” said David’s father, John. “In his words, ‘It may have been the fastest I’ve ever gone on a bus.'”
The school bus passed its last inspection in 2014 and a closer inspection showed that the brakes did, indeed, work. It’s possible that the muffler managed to get loose and fall off of the vehicle at some point during the ride.
Since the high school bus rolled and injured a number of players, it’s hard to know if they’ll be healed in time to continue with the playoffs this Friday.
[Image via NBC News]