Eighteen Legacy High School athletes and coaches were injured and one killed after the school bus they were traveling in crashed at the Denver International Airport (DIA), according to the Denver Channel.
At about 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 11, three school buses arrived at the airport to pick up Varsity and JV football players as well as three coaches after “playing a tournament in California.”
As the school buses were pulling out of the airport and heading back to Legacy High School in Broomfield, for unknown reasons, one of the buses attempted to circle back to the “Terminal East’s passenger pickup area” but never made it as the driver suddenly veered off the road, crashing into a concrete ramp support pillar for an upper level.
The impact of the crash crushed the front of the school bus where the driver – a woman whose name and age has not been released – was sitting.
The driver was killed at the scene.
Passengers on the bus were injured during the crash, but they were able to escape through an “emergency exit.”
When emergency responders arrived at the scene, they immediately transported the surviving victims to area hospitals.
Some sustained non-life threatening injuries while others are in serious condition.
Sources say that some students have already been released from the hospital.
In a statement, the Denver Health Medical Center stated that “five patients were transported to Denver Health, two patients are in critical condition, two patients are in serious condition, and one patient is in fair condition.”
Colorado police blocked the level four ramp while they attempt to uncover what could have caused the fatal bus crash, according to CBS News.
DIA released a tweet informing the public that “all passenger pickups were taking place on Terminal West because of the crash on the east terminal.”
The driver reportedly remained in the wrecked bus until a tow truck was able to move the bus back from the pillar.
Sources say the driver may have been pinned, making it less feasible to extract the body.
BREAKING: School bus crash @ DIA. Several transported in critical condition. Watch here for updates. pic.twitter.com/V9QtfqhP6D— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) September 11, 2016
During a press conference at the Denver International Airport, Sgt. Mike Farr stated that he fails to understand why the school bus driver decided to circle back around to the pickup area when she shouldn’t have.
Farr went on to say that officials concluded that the driver may have had a medical emergency and was “trying to get herself help” when things suddenly went awry.
Following the school bus crash, Legacy High School released a statement on their Facebook page.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Legacy football team, coaches, and all families affected.”
The Denver International Airport released the following tweet, “Our thoughts are with everyone involved in today’s bus accident. We thank all of the first responders and our passengers for their patience.”
When Legacy High School senior Keanna Smith learned about the school bus crash, she stated that she was “worried” as they all were “like a family. We stick together.”
Legacy High School staff, students, and parents were shaken up after the bus accident.
Bus driver killed on school bus crash came back through Denver international airport pic.twitter.com/2N6L3hAh6N— Bruce Finley (@finleybruce) September 11, 2016
One mother said her son, who is a coach, was supposed to be on that bus, but opted to ride back to the school with friends.
Grief counselors will be at the school as well as the airport for those who need it following the tragic accident.
Keith Murdock, who is a student at Legacy High School, has created a Go Fund Me page to help “support all those involved in the bus crash.”
Police are interviewing the surviving victims to determine how the school bus crash took place and how fast the driver may have been going. An investigation is underway.
[Image via iStock Photo]