CRAWFORD | Bellarmine team 'just fine' after bus accident near Chicago
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Bellarmine University basketball coach Scott Davenport said his players and staff are all fine after their charter bus was involved in a hit-and-run accident on Interstate 65 just south of Chicago Wednesday night.
Davenport said the bus was going about 50 miles per hour and he and his players were watching the University of Louisville-South Florida game when a pickup truck hauling a trailer jackknifed in front of them and hit the right side of their bus.
"We're fine," Davenport said. "We're just grateful everybody's okay. It was a pickup truck, hauling one of those rented UHauls, and he just jackknifed right into us. Then as we went to slow down, and get over into the emergency lane to stop, he's 100 to 150 yards in front of us, and he just takes off. But everybody's fine. We got out, and the windshield's cracked on the door side and the mirror is torn off and there's some cosmetic damage."
Davenport said the team had to wait for police, then made the decision to go eat, get a hotel and stay in Crown Point, Ind., before heading on up to Kenosha, Wisc., for a game against Wisconsin-Parkside on Thursday. They had planned to stay in Merrillville, Ind., anyway.
The Bellarmine women's team was on a separate bus that was not involved in the accident. They drove on to Wisconsin.
The Knights continue their trip Thursday on a replacement bus driven up from Indianapolis. Davenport said his phone has been buzzing with text messages since word of the accident hit Twitter and Facebook.
"It's just an example of social media," Davenport said. "But we're all fine. We'd already practiced before we left Louisville and everybody is in good spirits."
The Knights, ranked No. 7 in NCAA Division II, are coming off a difficult overtime loss to Southern Indiana on Saturday night, on a tip-in at the overtime buzzer. But Davenport said his team responded well and has had positive practices since then.
They will be without George Suggs, a 6-10 sophomore who leads the team in blocked shots and averages 9.2 points per game. He sprained an ankle late against USI. Jake Thelen, who bruised a hip against USI, should be able to play.
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