Snowy-day crashes include basketball-team bus wreck


WHITE HAVEN, LUZERNE COUNTY (WOLF) -- Snow on Saturday morning caused tricky driving conditions and crashes across the region.

And Mansfield University's basketball teams had a close call when an SUV crashed into their bus on I-80 in White Haven.

We caught up with them as they got transferred to a new bus.

There were some scary moments for students on a charter bus on I-80 around 11:30 a.m.

Our cameras were rolling as a tow company went to fix a tire on the bus out of Wellsboro a couple hours later.

A couple dozen students from the men's and women's basketball teams at Mansfield University were on board, some of them fast asleep, at the time of the crash.

"We were on our way to our basketball game at East Stroudsburg and a car came off the side of the road and hit a sign and then it hit our bus," says senior/basketball player Brielle Kelly.

The SUV was getting on the eastbound ramp when it lost control and went off the left side of the ramp, sliding down an embankment and into oncoming traffic, specifically, the bus, White Haven Fire Chief Dean Raudenbush said.

"We saw it going and it was like slow-motion and then all you hear is a boom and it hit the bus," says Kelly.

"I heard her say, 'Oh, my God! Oh, my God!' so now I woke up and then we just got hit," says senior/basketball player Alyssa Mullins. "We just kind of took it," says Kelly.

A school bus picked everyone up and brought them here several miles away to a mini-mart with a Subway, where they waited for a new bus.

"The bus swerved, kind of got a little loose and the driver did a phenomenal job," says men's assistant basketball coach John Szentesy.

"It was a little scary because we didn't know, I felt bad for the people in the car because that was so scary, hitting a bus onto the highway," says Kelly.

Raudenbush says the SUV had bad front-end damage and the woman inside was taken away by ambulance.

According to Benedict's Bus company owner Tammy Mengee, there was someobody in the lane next to the driver and he couldn't get over to get away from the car. There were no injuries on the bus and a replacement bus was called.

The basketball teams eventually made it to their games against East Stroudsburg University, just a couple hours late. They both lost, with the women's team making it to overtime, according to the ESU website.

* Meantime, about 10 miles further east, we found a jack-knifed tractor-trailer in the median on I-80, near the Blakeslee exit on the Carbon County side of the county line.

Clean-up crews say the crash happened several hours before.

"They called us earlier, told us there was a truck that jack-knifed. They told us to wait until the storm was out, so we'd be a little more clear on the highway for us," says All Points Towing owner Jared Hoffman.

Hoffman wants people to obey the "Steer Clear" law, which means try to move over into the lane further from an emergency scene, and slow down and be careful.

"They don't slow down at all," says Hoffman. "Usually every one we do out here, there's one or two that almost hit us. Usually we lose a cone or two each incident where people run through our patterns."

* And, in another crash in Scranton, a hole was left in the concrete median on the North Scranton Expressway near Keyser Avenue around 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Video that was posted onto the group Lackawanna County Fire Wire shows a damaged pickup truck that sat across the lanes after the crash.

Viewer photos from Catherine Riley also show the hole in the median. The highway was shut down in the area for a time.

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