CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. — A bus carrying college lacrosse players from Vermont was hit Tuesday by a sports car that spun out of control on a wet highway in upstate New York, sending the bus toppling onto its side, police said. One person in the sports car died.
The victim was a 64-year-old female passenger in the red Porsche that hit the bus, authorities said; the 65-year-old man who had been driving was in critical condition. Four players on the bus were treated for minor injuries at the scene.
The crash happened shortly before noon Tuesday on Interstate 87 in Saratoga County, about 150 miles north of New York City. Players stood alongside the highway after the crash in purple jackets and white shorts and were taken on a school bus to a nearby firehouse.
The bus was carrying 34 players, three coaches and a driver from Saint Michael’s College, a small Catholic liberal arts school in Colchester, Vt., to a game in Westchester County, just north of New York City, State Police Lt. Greg Thomas said.
The bus landed on its side off the road after running into the Porsche, which ended up mangled on the median, he said. Police are investigating why the Porsche driver lost control and haven’t said whether speed might have been a factor.
Bob Urban, who was driving in front of the bus, told WNYT-TV he saw the Porsche sluing across the three-lane road.
“As I accelerated to clear him he veered left again, causing his Porsche to spin out of control,” the Clifton Park resident said. “When I looked up, I could see the bus was going to make impact. It was unavoidable. The bus had no other option.”
Urban said the Porsche “shattered … more like exploded” when it was hit.
A work van was also damaged after hitting one of the other vehicles or debris, Thomas said. Its driver wasn’t hurt.
The southbound lanes of the highway were closed until just after 5 p.m., troopers said.
According to the Saint Michael’s website, the team is scheduled to play at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., on Wednesday afternoon.
“Everyone’s OK. They’re safe, they’re happy,” said interim head coach Pat Ivory, who took over the team after the Feb. 15 death of longtime head coach Paul Schimoler, who died at age 45 of brain cancer.
It was the team’s first road trip of the season. Ivory said he was sitting at the front of the bus when the crash happened, but he declined to comment on details, saying he’d leave that to police.
Ivory said the team would be talking with its opponents about whether to complete the trip. Saint Michael’s College also is scheduled to play Saturday at New York Tech.