WSP tickets driver in UW marching band bus crash
The Washington State Patrol has cited the driver of a charter bus that slid off Interstate 90 and rolled onto its side on Thanksgiving, injuring members of the University of Washington marching band who were en route to perform at the Apple Cup football game against Washington State University.
Nancy Aguilar, 36, of Sammamish, was cited for driving too fast for the icy and slushy conditions on the freeway that evening, the WSP said in a memo. Trooper John Bryant said the citation comes with a $136 ticket and a $51 collision fee.
Aguilar was among those hospitalized after the bus crashed near the Grant County town of George, though her injuries were not life-threatening, Bryant said. She could face additional citations pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation that could take several more weeks. Bryant said she was properly licensed to drive the charter bus, and neither drugs nor alcohol appeared to be factors in the crash.
The WSP memo says the bus was traveling in the outermost eastbound lane when it slid into a ditch along the right shoulder of the freeway shortly before 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The bus rolled, coming to rest on its right side and blocking a frontage road.
The bus was one of six transporting UW band members to Pullman, but after the crash the band canceled its Apple Cup performance and members returned to Seattle to rest and recover from the incident. In a show of solidarity, the WSU marching band played the UW fight song before the Huskies defeated the Cougars 28-15 in Friday’s game.
UW officials said that of the 56 people aboard the bus, 47 were sent to hospitals for treatment or evaluation, though none suffered life-threatening injuries. Some spent the night sheltered at George Elementary School.
Bryant said that everyone hospitalized because of the incident, including one person who had been airlifted to Harborview Medical Center, was released in stable condition by Friday evening.