The Griffith High School boys’ basketball team’s game was cancelled on Saturday morning when the bus carrying Indiana State University students toppled over. The bus, which was carrying twenty-one high school students and six adults, was thrown off the road and overturned in a ditch along Interstate 65 near Demotte, Indiana, in Jasper County. What’s actually frightening is how it ended up running off the road.
The bus’s twenty-seven occupants were on their way to a state semi-final game when it slid into a ditch. Fortunately, despite being frightened, all of the passengers survived to tell the tale. “I had to cry,” Grey Teamer, a student, remembered. “I just burst out crying.” It was a terrifying experience for me. “Something I don’t want to see again.”
Martin Schiele, a point guard on the team, stated in an interview after the tragedy that it occurred around 45 minutes into the journey and that people were “ricocheting off the bus” as the vehicle overturned, leaving everyone screaming in shock and astonishment.
Schiele recounted that the next thing one understood was that they started swaying from the left and then to the right while chatting to a fellow colleague in the rear of the bus. But since they were in the rear, they couldn’t see what was happening on the road. He went on to say that he and his colleagues were “kind of in shock.” When they went to the right, they began tumbling into a ditch, and bodies were ricocheting from the bus. It was really insane.
So, when the bus eventually settled down and stopped flipping, everybody was just screaming, Schiele said. From the top to the bottom of the floor, objects were flying everywhere. Everyone started rushing out the emergency door to find a way out.
Although the situation was terrifying for everyone, Schiele said that the bus was only out of control for around 30 seconds and that everyone was able to exit the vehicle within a couple of minutes. Once they got out—it was a grassy area—everyone panicked, he said. Their coach and assistant coach were walking around making sure everybody was okay, and the players were walking around making sure everybody was fine.
Everyone aboard the bus was taken to the hospital for treatment, but any wounds were believed to be minor.
Not only are the team members relieved that no one was seriously injured, but the community has also engaged in their well-being and recovery. Hundreds of community members came on Sunday after the disaster to support and pray for those impacted. Seeing all of these individuals here backing them really makes them happy, gets them back on their feet, and gives them the adrenaline to start over and bring back a state ring, Teamer said.
A school announcement the following Wednesday said that the lads are “ready to play ball.” The only people still in the hospital are freshmen team coach David Garrett and bus driver Andriana Wright.
God performed a miracle for them—truly a miracle that no one died, Dawn Jones, a Griffith local, remarked, expressing her surprise that no one was gravely injured.
Officials are now in shock as the cause of the horrible tragedy has been identified. The 23-year-old driver lost control of her car after spilling a drink on herself, according to Indiana State Police, which led to the massive vehicle toppling over and sideswiping the school bus.
Dominique T. Small was eventually identified as the driver. When she went to get her drink while driving a 2001 Kia southbound in the left lane, she misplaced the lid and spilt it over herself. Small and one of her passengers were also brought to the hospital with non-life threatening wounds.
She attempted to grab the drink, losing control of her vehicle and sideswiping a Griffith School bus traveling in the right lane, according to a State Police press release. After being hit, the school bus went off the road to the west and rolled over.
It’s easy to grow enraged and shame the motorist for her recklessness. But how frequently have we let something divert us while driving? Instead of condemning this young lady, let us learn from her mistakes. Yes, spilling your drink in your vehicle is inconvenient, but it can wait. Too frequently, individuals attempt to address a problem that should be ignored until they are safely pulled over. When we are driving, we must pay complete attention to the road. Let this be a lesson for you. The next event may not have the same miraculous conclusion. Fortunately, no one was killed.