February 27, 2013

'Somebody was watching out for us'

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

and Glenn Jordan gjordan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 2)

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UMaine assistant coach Jhasmin Player, right, receives a hug from former director of basketball operations Tracey Guerette, as the women's basketball team returned to Orono on Wednesday evening, Feb. 27, 2013, after being involved in a harrowing crash on I-95 in Massachusetts on Tuesday night.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

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Massachusetts State Police examine the front of a bus that crashed in Georgetown, Mass., on Tuesday while carrying University of Maine women's basketball players to a game.

The Associated Press

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Location map: Georgetown, MA

The crash is being investigated by Massachusetts State Police with help from the State Police Collision Reconstruction and Analysis Section, the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Section and the Crime Scene Services Section.

The crime scene unit routinely goes to major crashes to photograph and collect physical evidence, a police spokesman said, and its presence does not suggest anything criminal.

Police will determine whether the bus has an electronic module, much like an airplane's black box, to show the bus's speed, braking and other information from the seconds before the crash.

Maj. Arthur Sugrue of the Massachusetts State Police said there is nothing to suggest that Hamlin was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

State police investigators interviewed Hamlin at Boston Medical Center. His injuries included several broken bones, police said.

They are not likely to charge Hamlin, but will make sure that his medical records are up to date, a spokesman said.

The basketball players, who were going to Boston for a game Wednesday night at Boston University, say they were fortunate to escape serious injury.

"Someone was looking over us tonight. It is a miracle we are still alive," student assistant Rachele Burns tweeted early Wednesday. "I love this team and staff. Thank you for the prayers."

Wood, the freshman from Virginia, posted a note on Twitter saying she "walked away without a scratch #blessed."

Other players also used the hashtag "blessed" at the end of their posts.

A few hours after the crash, Sophie Weckstrom of Finland posted on Twitter "we are fine, we'll be ok!!"

The game in Boston was canceled, and Barron said he won't be sure of the status of the team's scheduled game Saturday against the University of New Hampshire until he knows whether he has enough players.

The team is scheduled to open the America East conference tournament March 7 in Albany, N.Y., but school officials said the status of that game was also uncertain as of Wednesday.

The team has 4-23 record for the season.

"We had some terrible luck throughout the season, but we saved it all up for last night," Barron said. "We're very grateful that everybody is alive (and) we're very grateful that we didn't sustain more serious injuries.

"I view this as all the good luck we had saved up," he said.

It's not such a big deal that the team is 4-23, Barron said. "The flip side would be that we're 22-5 and everyone is mourning our death. I prefer this situation."

Staff Writers Gillian Graham and Edward D. Murphy contributed to this report.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

dhench@pressherald.com

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

gjordan@pressherald.com

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Additional Photos

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Assistant coach Amy Vachon receives a hug from former director of basketball operations Tracey Guerrette as the University of Maine women's basketball team returned to Orono on Wednesday evening, Feb. 27, 2013, after being involved in a harrowing crash on I-95 in Massachusetts on Tuesday night.

Gabe Souza

click image to enlarge

This photo of the bus crash scene Tuesday night in Georgetown, Mass., was taken from a Massachusetts State Police helicopter.

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Members of the University of Maine women's basketball team stop at the Kennebunk rest area on the Maine Turnpike on their return to Orono following a bus accident in Massachusetts Tuesday evening. Brittany Wells, a freshman guard from Fishers, Ind., gives the thumbs up sign as she left the bus. At left is Yankee Lines bus driver Jason Stirk.

John Patriquin / Staff Photographer

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Police work at the scene in Georgetown, Mass., on Tuesday where a bus carrying University of Maine women's basketball players crashed on Interstate 95 north of Boston.

The Associated Press

click image to enlarge

The University of Maine women's basketball team returned to Orono on Wednesday evening, Feb. 27, 2013, after being involved in a harrowing crash on I-95 in Massachusetts on Tuesday night.

Gabe Souza / Staff Photographer

 


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