A team bus carrying the women’s basketball team from the U.S. Military Academy Army was involved in an accident that sent the entire team to local hospitals for evaluation, and postponed the team’s scheduled game against Lehigh University. The team was travelling on a charter bus when they were rear-ended by a tractor-trailer. The driver of the tractor trailer was reportedly injured as well.
The accident took place on Route 33 North in Bethlehem Township, Pennsylvania. The team had just completed a pre-game practice session at Lehigh’s Stabler Arena, and was headed back to their hotel when the bus began experiencing transmission problems. According to Bob Beretta, Army’s associate athletics director, the bus driver had just put on his emergency flashers and moved over to the right hand shoulder of the road. He was travelling at a slow rate of speed when the accident took place. A truck driven by 54 year old Alton D. Spight of Blue Mountain, Mississippi rammed into the back of the bus. The impact of the accident was violent and left the tractor-trailer driver trapped and several of the bus passengers shaken and bruised.
The team bus was carrying 27 passengers in addition to the driver, with riders including players, coaches and administrators. With many onboard complaining of back injuries and neck pain, the entire team was sent to local hospitals for evaluation of their injuries, with ambulances transporting three or four players at a time to a hospital, accompanied by either an administrator or a coach. Three local hospitals accommodated the team, but it is unknown as to whether anybody was kept overnight. According to Beretta, most of the players were treated for their injuries and released. A spokeswoman from nearby St. Luke’s Hospital was quoted as having indicated that the injuries at their location were “just some bumps and bruises.”
Following the accident, the team planned to spend the night at the hotel that they were already booked into for their scheduled game and would be returning to West Point the following day. Though there are plans for their game against Lehigh University’s team was postponed, no make-up date has been scheduled yet. State police indicated that they would likely be citing Alton Spight in the accident, which shut down the northbound lanes of Route 33 for over an hour.