On Feb. 4 at 3:35 p.m., the Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria swim teams set off from Prep, heading towards Warren, Pa., for their swim meet against Warren High School. The ride there went off with out a hitch, and the meet went down in a similar fashion. Prep beat the Warren boys 126-54, and Villa won 119-61.
It was about 9 p.m. when the team set back out on the road to return to Erie. After about 15 minutes of driving the hour-long drive back to Erie, the bus slid out of control and plunged into the deep snow. The bus drove about 100 yards through the snow before coming to a stop. The bus driver kept the bus in drive and attempted to drive back up to the road, but it was to no avail. The bus was stuck in the woods in snow three feet deep.
Prep coach Mike Doyle attempted to ask the bus driver what happened, but she gave no comment. Reports say the driver, a 43-year-old woman, experienced a medical issue. The tangible anxiety on the bus was cut free when a horde of fireman and police officers came for questioning. The bus driver was removed from the bus on a stretcher, and medical experts on scene said that she was in a catatonic shock.
After waiting on the freezing cold bus for 1.5 hours, a bus from Warren saved the day and took the students home. They were still about an hour from home. Students made it to Prep safely at around 12 a.m. Students on the bus were given an extra 2 hours to sleep in, and no students were injured. The cause of the accident is still unknown.