Six people were injured when a bus carrying the University of Maine women’s basketball team ran off the highway in Georgetown, Mass., on Feb. 26. Georgetown is a small town 30 miles north of Boston.
According to University of Maine spokeswoman Margaret Nagle, freshman guard Milica Mitrovic (Belgrade, Serbia) broke her hand and head coach Richard Barron suffered facial cuts after the bus crossed a median on Interstate 95 at about 8:30 p.m., veered across the northbound lanes and went down an embankment.
Nagle added that guard Ashleigh Roberts (Wilmington, Del.), forward Corinne Wellington (Rochester, N.Y.) and director of basketball operations Samantha Wheeler were taken to three hospitals for observation and released early on Feb. 27.
Police believe the accident occurred when, 55-year old Jeffrey Hamlin of Charleston, Maine, suffered a medical seizure and blacked out. Hamlin was flown to Boston Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
It was a miracle no other cars were struck when the bus crossed oncoming lanes according to Georgetown Fire Chief Al Beardsley.
“This is a very heavily traveled road, day and night, and for a bus that size to basically catapult across the road, I couldn’t imagine being northbound and seeing that thing coming at me,” Beardsley.
The bus ended up upright after the cash and appeared to have plowed through a roadside snowbank and crashed into woods along the road before coming to rest pointing down an embankment.
“He hit pretty high up on the tree, you can see marks,” Beardsley said.
The team was en route to play Boston University on Wednesday night. The game has been postponed.
The bus is owned by the John T. Cyr & Sons Inc. bus line of Old Town, Maine.
Mitrovic is averaging 2 points in nine minutes a game for the Black Bears, who are struggling with a 4-23 record.
Maine, 3-11 in the America East, likely has two games remaining in the regular season. The Black Bears, who may or may not make up their game with Boston U., close the season versus New Hampshire on March 2. Maine has won two of their last three games.
In related news, a state police car that stopped at the scene was struck by another vehicle. The trooper who was driving the police cruiser was taken to the hospital for minor injuries according to a police statement. The driver of the car was not hurt.
– Head coach Richard Barron’s monthly ‘Time Out Luncheon’, scheduled for Feb. 28 has been canceled.