Ohio Athletes Safe After Bus Accident

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By Allison Brown

STARK COUNTY, Ohio — The Seton Hill athletic director confirmed two Ohio athletes were safe following a bus accident they were involved in Saturday morning.

Alexandra Gulli and Siiri Mason. (Courtesy: Seton Hill Sports Information)

Alexandra Gulli and Siiri Mason. (Courtesy: Seton Hill Sports Information)

On Sunday, Alexandra Gulli, of Massillon, and Siiri Mason, of Perrysburg, were back on campus.

Mason suffered a hand injury in the accident.

The team’s bus was carrying 23 people, who were players or associated with team, when it veered off the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Carlisle Saturday morning, struck a guard rail, traveled 70 yards through grass and then struck a tree.

Rain and snow were falling when the accident occurred shortly before 9 a.m., but state police don’t know yet whether the weather played a role, said Megan Silverstrim, a spokeswoman with the Cumberland County Department of Public Safety.

The team’s pregnant coach and the bus driver were killed.

Well wishes and prayers for the team were being sent from Northeast Ohio.

Fox 8 News talked to a local athlete who knew Gulli.

“You have so many people who have you in their hearts, girls lacrosse team and the guys, too.  Both teams are all best friends, so you just have so many people who have this girl in their hearts,” said Alexis Juergensen, a senior lacrosse player at Jackson High School. “It’s amazing, and you shouldn’t feel alone or anything.”

Coach Kristina Quigley, 30, was six months pregnant with a boy.  She died from injuries at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, according to the Cumberland County Department of Public Safety.

“Her unborn child did not survive,” the county agency said.

The 61-year-old bus driver, Anthony Guaetta, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Three individuals — a figure that does not include the driver, but likely includes Quigley — were transported to Penn State Hershey Medical Center with serious injuries, the university said in a statement.

Others received treatment for minor injuries, with eight going to Carlisle Regional Medical Center, seven to Harrisburg Hospital and four to Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill.

According to her bio on the school’s website, Quigley was in her second season as head women’s lacrosse coach at Seton Hill, a Catholic university outside Pittsburgh founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1885.

A Baltimore, Maryland, native and graduate of Duquesne University, she came to Pennsylvania after starting a Division II program at Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina.

Quigley leaves behind a husband and a young son, Seton Hill said in a statement.

A memorial Mass will be held in memory of her and the bus driver, and in support of all those injured, at 7 p.m. Sunday on the Pennsylvania campus.

The chartered bus was heading from Greensburg to Millersville, where the Griffins were set to take on an opponent from Millersville University in a Division II matchup slated to start at 1 p.m.

The bus was owned and operated by Pennsylvania-based Mlaker Transportation, which issued a statement Saturday saying it “is cooperating fully with police, officials from Seton Hill University and others to assist the student-athletes, coaches and others on the motorcoach.”

The company said it has been in operation for more than 40 years and “places the safe transportation of all our passengers at the highest level.”

In an unrelated incident last month, a bus carrying the University of Maine women’s basketball team crashed on a highway near Boston, but no one was killed, CNN affiliate WCVB reported. The bus crossed the median and traveled into the woods next to the highway, authorities told WCVB.

CNN contributed to this report.