A Calgary lacrosse player is recovering after a bus crash in the United States killed her pregnant coach and the driver.
Emily Fagan, a 20-year-old scholarship student at Seton Hill University in southwestern Pennsylvania, suffered a concussion and an injured knee during the crash. “She’s doing okay,” her brother Derek said in an interview. “I don’t think it’s really hit her yet. I can’t imagine what that must have been like.”
Police are still investigating what caused the charter bus, carrying the Seton Hill Griffins women’s lacrosse team, to veer off the Pennsylvania Turnpike and crash into a tree on Saturday morning. The team was headed to an afternoon game at Millersville University, about 80 kilometres from the crash site in central Pennsylvania.
Head coach Kristina Quigley, 30, of Greensburg, Pa., died of her injuries at a hospital, Cumberland County authorities said. Ms. Quigley was about six months pregnant and her unborn son didn’t survive. The bus driver, Anthony Guaetta, 61, of Johnstown, Pa., died at the scene.
The other 21 passengers were taken to hospitals as a precaution.
This is Ms. Fagan’s second season with the team. She attends the school on an athletic scholarship. Her father flew to Pennsylvania on Saturday to offer support.
“It’s kind of hard for us because we’re so far away from her,” her brother said. “It was really scary to hear about it. My mom is definitely a bit worried.”
The front left side of the bus was shorn away during the crash, and the vehicle rested upright about 65 metres from the road at the bottom of a grassy slope.
Both Saturday’s game and a Sunday home game were cancelled, and Seton Hill, a Catholic liberal arts school of about 2,500 students near Pittsburgh, said a memorial mass was planned for Sunday night on campus. The school is also offering grief counselling to students.
Duquesne University women’s lacrosse coach Mike Scerbo remembered Ms. Quigley as a warm, outgoing person who immediately impressed him when he hired her to be an assistant during the 2008 season. Ms. Quigley, a Duquesne alumnus, spent just one season under Mr. Scerbo before moving to South Carolina to start Erskine College’s NCAA Division II program.
“In that time, I really saw how much passion she had to be a coach, and how much she enjoyed working with the kids,” Mr. Scerbo said. “She was a teacher, and she wanted to help kids grow and learn, not just about the sport, but about life.”
She spent three years at Erskine before taking the top job at Seton Hill for the 2012 season. She stayed in touch with Mr. Scerbo, often seeking his guidance and showing up at the Duquesne alumni game. “She was a very happy person, very passionate about life, about her players, about her job and most importantly about her family,” Mr. Scerbo said.
Ms. Quigley, a native of Baltimore, was married and had a young son, Gavin, the school said.
The bus operator, Mlaker Charter & Tours, of Davidsville, Pa., is up-to-date on its inspections, which include bus and driver safety checks, said Jennifer Kocher, a spokeswoman for the state Public Utility Commission, which regulates bus companies. The agency’s motor safety inspectors could think of no accidents or violations involving the company that would raise a red flag, she said, though complete safety records were not available Saturday.
On Tuesday, another bus carrying college lacrosse players from a Vermont team was hit by a sports car that spun out of control on a wet highway in upstate New York, sending the bus toppling onto its side, police said. One person in the car died.
With files from The Canadian Press