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A bus transporting UMass students on a ski trip this weekend overturned on I-91 in Putney, Vt., leaving six students in critical condition and 40 injured, according to reports from the Brattleboro Reformer.
However, according to Martin Greenberg, a student injured in the accident, eight students were released from Brattleboro Memorial Hospital having been treated for partial injuries. Four of these students are currently traveling on a UMass travel bus back to campus, while the other four secured rides earlier in the evening. Greenberg said that four students were taken into the emergency room for critical injuries.
According to The Reformer, the bus was one of three heading to Quebec City, Canada, for a weekend ski trip and, according to UMass Media Relations, the students on board were members of the UMass Ski & Board Club.
Students on one of the other buses are reporting hearing the media is exaggerating the conditions of students reported to have been injured on the trip.
“All we know is that the accident was caused by a heart attack the bus driver had,” said Chris Martin, UMass student and Ski ‘N Board club members on one of the other two buses stopped in Northern Vt. “We’ve just been hearing that all UMass students are alright, and the news is exaggerating [the injuries] but we don’t know for sure.”
“We heard the students that are being treated are being treated for minor concussions,” continued Martin. “And that no one was seriously injured and all should be continuing on the trip, but nothing is official and we’re still trying to figure out what’s happening.”
Martin also said the RSO’s advisors were not available for comment as they were “currently figuring things out and getting the group coordinated.”
“Students here are just trying to call their families and tell them that they’re OK,” said Martin.
Students in Amherst preparing for finals are stunned by the news, and many are trying to contact those on the trip.
“I’ve been searching on Google and looking at my friends on Facebook that I know ski and snowboard to see if they have any information on who is OK on the trip,” said resident assistant and psychology major Alexandra Booth. “I’m very worried about the students on board. I just hope that everyone is getting the medical attention they need.”
“I”m in shock. Those are the kinds of things you see on the news and you never think it’s going to hit close to home. It’s sad to hear that something like that happened to the Unviersity I attend,” said senior economics major Chris Venne. “I just hope everyone is alright.”
“It is really sad that a simple school trip could go bad so quickly,” said communication major Jessica Dautruche. “I am concerned about the students, but I can’t imagine how worried their families must be.
The Reformer is also reporting that over two dozen ambulances were dispatched to the scene from surrounding towns and New Hampshire and are transporting students to hospitals in Brattleboro, Vt., Keene NH and Springfield, Vt.
The white tour bus was travelling northbound when it rolled over and slid down an embankment, The Reformer reported, with emergency crews treating some students at the scene as traffic is diverted.
Unconfirmed reports state that the cause of the rollover may have been due to the driver suffering a heart attack. The Tour World bus company in Danville, Penn. cannot confirm the state of the driver or whether a heart attack led to the crash.
Stay with DailyCollegian.com as more details on this developing story emerge.
-Collegian News Staff
Most recently updated Friday, Nov. 3 at 9:30 p.m.