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Game day bus wreck

Photo by: Russell Reed

People are screaming.

Glass is flying through the air.

A bus is speeding with no sign of stopping.

This is the situation that the Texas State football program was unexpectedly thrown into.

On Nov. 19, the Texas State football players, coaches, cheerleaders, administrators, trainers and videographers were all traveling to the Bobcats’ final road game of the 2016 season against New Mexico State.

However, a regular bus ride soon turned into a nightmare.

Russell Reed is a videographer for Texas State football, and experienced this traumatic event first hand.

Texas State occupied three buses traveling to Las Cruces, New Mexico. Reed, along with the cheerleaders, administrators and the rest of the videographers, were all on the third bus.

It seemed to be a normal day, a not-too-long bus ride to a bordering state, until something out of the blue occurred.

Reed was sitting on the bus relaxing with his headphones in when he noticed the speed of the bus was unusually fast.

“The first thing I noticed was how fast we were coming up on the bus ahead of us,” Reed said.

No one really knows if the bus driver fell asleep or not, or what caused the driver to pick up speed.”

“Everyone has those heart stopping moments,” Reed said. “What was different about this was that I kind of got the hint that we weren’t going to slow down.”

According to Reed, the third bus sped up to about 70 mph but slowed to about 35 mph once it slammed into the back of the second one. The second bus was hit from behind three more times after that, busting the windshield.

Finally, after being hit several times, the driver of the second bus realized that the bus behind him was not going to stop, so he pulled to the side of the road. The third bus flew by them, and headed for the first one.

The third bus was going so much faster than the first bus that it passed it too closely, scraping the side of the bus and breaking off the side mirror.

The third bus was still in motion, going about 10 mph. People occupying the moving bus were begging the driver to stop, and to put this scary situation to an end.

“He (the driver) was unresponsive towards us,” Reed said. “When people were yelling at him to stop he literally said ‘I can’t.’

This was when something clicked in Reed’s head. The bus was still moving, and the potential for more damage was rising.

Reed asked the driver to stop one more time, yet he received the same response of “I can’t.”

“Immediately it snapped in my head and I jumped up and was asking him where the emergency brake was,” Reed said. “He said ‘I don’t know I can’t feel it,’ that’s when I automatically thought ‘oh okay, he’s in shock’ and that’s when I pulled the emergency brake.”

There was traffic on the other side of the road, and the bus was nearing a hill before Reed pulled the emergency brake.

The only motivation that got Reed to pull the brake wasn’t being a hero or saving the day, it was simply fear.

“I was scared for my life,” Reed said. “I just reacted different, I did something about it rather than being a deer in headlights like everybody else. It was a traumatic experience.”

Every person involved experienced a life-threatening situation. However, only five people were taken to the hospital, and all five were discharged the same day. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries in the accident.

Of the five people who were taken to the ER, only one was a player, which was Elijah King, junior wide receiver. Although King went to the hospital, he was fine and walking around later that day.

The Texas State football program faced a dangerous and traumatic event, but the fact that everyone involved is fine, healthy and living to tell the story is what matters most.

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