According to police and a Utah school official, a bus carrying a celebrated Utah high school band swerved off an interstate in Idaho and crashed on its side, killing an instructor and causing some students to suffer personal injuries.
John Miller, director of the American Fork, Utah, high school band, said that two students received helicopter transport on October 10 to a Pocatello, Idaho hospital. Another 12 students required ambulance transport to a hospital for serious injuries. Thirty other students received hospital transport for minor injuries.
The band was on its way back to American Fork High School following a competition in Pocatello when the wreck took place, at approximately 9 p.m. According to Idaho state police, preliminary investigations show that the crash was caused by the bus driver having a medical condition.
The person who died was identified by police as 33-year-old Heather Christensen, who was the school’s woodwind instructor. Police say the injuries suffered by the students were not believed to be life-threatening.
According to Miller, who was on a separate bus, he was told that Christensen had noticed the driver slump over and grabbed the wheel. He said her actions probably prevented the crash from being even more severe.
Miller said that a total of 54 students were on the bus at the time of the crash. They were part of a group of 222 students, divided among four buses, that were on the trip.