News may have reached Illinois sports fans that a bus containing the women's softball players from North Central Texas College was hit by a semi-truck in Oklahoma, leaving four players dead. The team had just completed a scrimmage with Southern Nazarene University in Bethany when a tractor-trailer crossed into oncoming traffic and struck the left side of the bus, causing extensive damage. Eleven ambulances and a number of helicopters responded to the scene.
The team's coach was driving the bus carrying 15 players on Sept. 26. Three of the deceased were pronounced dead at the scene, and the fourth was taken to a nearby hospital where she died. Their ages ranged from 18 to 20. All of the remaining teammates were also transported to area hospitals.
The 18-wheeler apparently hit the bus, continued going and then went off the side of the road. The truck's 53-year-old driver was taken to a local hospital where he was treated and released. Oklahoma Highway Patrol has not filed any charges but has stated that authorities would be investigating the tractor-trailer accident as though it were a homicide. The National Transportation Safety Board will be conducting an investigation running parallel to law enforcement's criminal investigation.
Whenever commercial vehicles are involved in a collision, the potential for damage, injury and death is elevated. Such accidents are sometimes the result of truck driver fatigue or inattentive driving. In a case like this one, the ongoing investigation may find one of these factors as the cause of the crash. If so, the deceased victim's family members might follow a legal avenue to hold a party responsible for the loss of a loved one.
Source: CBS News, "Deadly collision involving college softball team's bus", September 27, 2014