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Maine player describes bus wreck

The Maine team bus was pulled from woods off Interstate 95.


The Maine team bus was pulled from woods off Interstate 95.

A University of Maine women’s basketball player described the frightening moments as a bus carrying her and her teammates careened across Interstate 95 in Georgetown Tuesday and slammed into the woods, injuring more than 20 people.

“Someone yelled ‘hold on!’ and we braced ourselves,” said Courtney Anderson, a sophomore. “There was much screaming. We were just trying to figure out what to do next.”

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She said the aftermath of the crash was “strangely calm.”

The bus, carrying the varsity team, veered off I-95 South around 8:30 p.m., crossed the median, and shot across all four northbound lanes of traffic before crashing into the woods. The crash left the bus driver seriously injured, one player with a broken hand, and the coach with minor facial lacerations.

Anderson was not injured. She said those on the bus were doing well. The team traveled back to Maine on Wednesday.

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“Today on our bus there were seat belts,” she said. “It wasn’t great to be stepping back on a bus after what happened yesterday, but we understand it was a freak accident.’’

Three team members were taken to the hospital for observation.

“It’s just a miracle to me that they just didn’t get hit, that they made it across the highway without anyone hitting them,” said Anderson’s mother, Tammy.

Wednesday night’s scheduled game against Boston University was postponed .

Also Wednesday, State Police identified the driver of the bus as Jeffrey Hamlin, 55, of Charleston, Maine.

Officials said Hamlin suddenly slumped forward while driving. The bus then went out of control, despite efforts by coaches. Hamlin was released Wednesday from Boston Medical Center.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by State Police.

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