West Virginia Bus Crash Leaves 12 High School Basketball Players Injured: Reports

West Virginia Bus Crash Leaves 12 High School Basketball Players Injured: Reports
Stock photo of an ambulance in Toronto. (Michael Gil via Wikimedia Commons)
Jack Phillips

At least 14 people were injured after a charter bus carrying a high school basketball team rolled over in West Virginia, according to reports on Feb. 2.

A charter bus carrying a Martinsburg High School girl’s basketball team crashed in Raleigh County, dispatchers told WCHS-TV.

The incident unfolded as the bus was getting on Interstate 64 at around 8:50 p.m. on Feb. 2.

“I ask all West Virginians to join me in praying for the coaches, players, and all those associated with the Martinsburg High School Girls Basketball Team after they were involved in a vehicle accident tonight on I-64,” said West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice.

At least 14 people were taken to the hospital, officials said.

Twelve students and two adults were injured in the wreck, and one of the students was airlifted to a trauma center, WCHS-TV reported, citing school officials.

Berkeley County Schools issued an update about the matter early on Feb. 3, saying that students were medically cleared.

“Berkeley County Schools Superintendent Manny Arvon has been in constant contact with the Governors office since the time of the bus accident,” the statement read.

“Governor Justice and his staff have monitored the situation closely and provided timely updates as well as transportation and lodging for the families at the Glade Springs hotel.”

It added: “At this time, all players transported to the Beckley area hospitals have been medically cleared including the player transported by air to Charleston, WV. She and her coach are en route to the hotel to be reunited with the team.”

The team was playing in the Big Atlantic Classic tournament in Beckley.

Gov. Justice is providing assistance and lodging to players and families after the accident.

Other details about the crash aren’t clear, including the cause.

“Berkeley County Schools acknowledges and appreciates the immediate medical attention and action of all first responders, the support provided to the Bulldog players and families by Governor Jim Justice and his staff, and the care and concern demonstrated by both the Martinsburg and the Beckley communities,” the school district added.

Traffic Deaths Down Across US in 2018

U.S. traffic deaths fell 3.1 percent in the first six months of 2018, according to preliminary figures released in October 2018, Reuters reported.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that 2017 traffic deaths fell by 1.8 percent to 37,133 after traffic deaths rose sharply in the previous two years, according to final figures. The U.S. traffic fatality rate fell to 1.08 deaths per 100 million miles traveled for the first half of 2018.

The fatality rate in 2017 was 1.16 million deaths per 100 million miles traveled—the second highest rate since 2008. “This is good news and bad news,” said Deborah Hersman, CEO of the National Safety Council, CNBC reported. “The total number of fatalities is not getting worse, but the situation is not getting better.”

Hersman cited distracted driving and higher speed limits for the number. “There are a number of states that have raised speed limits, some now have stretches at 80 or 85 miles per hour,” she said in the CNBC report.

In Texas, for example, she estimated that traffic fatalities jumped 7 percent from 2015 to 2017, in part due to higher speed limits in the state.

“We know it’s happening even though distracted driving data is hard to come by,” she said of drivers using smartphones while behind the wheel.

“Police reports on accidents often don’t report if the driver was distracted and in many accidents, people don’t self-report themselves.”

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5
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