A Charlottesville, Virginia high school swim team is safe and sound after having experienced a scary bus situation last Friday, January 13th. Riding a school bus on Interstate 64 en route to their afternoon swim meet at Bridgewater College, student-athletes from Monticello High School swim and dive team on the bus started smelling smoke from inside the vehicle.
The bus wound up pulling over onto the shoulder after the vehicle began smoking heavily, forcing the evacuation of all 23 athletes, along with coaches and the driver. Firefighters came onto the scene to put out flames emitted from the bus.
“It smelled really bad but, I didn’t really know what the smell was, and the bus started shaking, and then someone in the back of the bus yelled that a fire started,” said Monticello High School sophomore Erin Young.
“I was so scared that the bus was going to explode. I ran off the bus so fast. I was just so scared it was going to explode,” Young said.
“Everyone was just piling off the bus. All the grass caught fire, so we kept moving farther and farther down the highway,” said Zach Daniel, Monticello High School junior.
Athletes were loaded onto a replacement bus shortly thereafter and police confirmed no one was hurt. Virginia State police are still investigating the accident, whose cause is still unknown.
Quotes courtesy of NBC29.
Release from Virginia State Police:
At 4:58 p.m., Friday (Jan. 13), Virginia State Police Trooper L.B. Dowell responded to a vehicle fire at the 103 mile marker on Interstate 64 in Albemarle County.
An Albemarle County school bus, traveling west on I-64, pulled onto the shoulder when the vehicle began smoking heavily. Thanks to the quick thinking of the students and coaches on board…and the help of several motorists who pulled over to assist…all 23 students, three coaches and driver exited the bus without injury.