University Coach Prevents What Could Have Been a Fatal Bus Accident After Driver Passes Out

Many colleges from all over the country have sports teams that travel, whether it’s for football, basketball, or even soccer to compete with other college teams in an attempt to advance to the next round or win. While most teams spend their time on the bus thinking about strategies they are going to implement in order to increase their chances of winning or recollecting about the game they just played, one coach had another job to do-save his team from a horrific bus accident.

The coach of the women’s basketball team for the University of Dubuque was on his way back from a tournament with his team when the unexpected occurred. After 90 minutes into the trip, Justin Smith “was jolted from his seat when the bus hit a guardrail on Interstate 24 in Kentucky” [Source: WPSD Local]. The bus driver had passed out and the bus was traveling at 70 mph. In a moment of fight or flight, Smith took action, hitting the brakes and bringing the bus to a stop. He and the other coaches moved the bus out of harm’s way, however it was still on the highway which means it could still have been hit from behind.

Smith decided to run 100 yards behind the bus to signal to other traffic to move away to help prevent a more severe accident from occurring. Thankfully, because of the brave move pulled by Smith, everyone on the bus was fine and avoided what could have been a fatal bus collision.

The bus driver was conscious when emergency personnel arrived and was taken to a local hospital to be checked out.


This story serves as a message to all that sometimes, things happen on the roadway that are unexpected. That is why it is important to drive carefully, and always remain alert and attentive.


How often do drivers fall asleep at the wheel?


Drowsy driving is a serious issue on our roadways today. It is estimated that “drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013” [Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]. Bus drivers are more prone to falling asleep while driving as many are working longer shifts than they are legally permitted or they didn’t get enough rest in between their shifts.


Warning signs of a drowsy driver


If you are traveling on a bus or with someone in their vehicle and you begin to see them doing one or more of the following, it might be a clear indicator that they are getting tired and may have a harder time concentrating on the roadway.


  • Yawning or blinking frequently.
  • Difficulty remembering the past few miles driven.
  • Missing an exit.
  • Drifting from your lane.
  • Hitting a rumble strip on the side of the road.


If you were recently involved in a bus collision in Phoenix, AZ and aren’t sure what steps you should take as a victim, consider calling who can help you locate a nearby Phoenix bus accident attorney. Lawyers who specialize in bus accident law can provide you with advice on how to handle the matter and information on the different forms of compensation you might be able to collect for your injuries and/or property damage.