At around 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, a Coach USA bus transporting University students to the Princeton versus Yale football game crashed into a building in West Haven, Conn., approximately 10 minutes from New Haven.
At least six ambulances were requested and a total of five individuals, including the driver, were transported to the hospital directly from the scene of the accident. The driver was the last to be extricated from the bus.
Leonela Serrano ’22, one of the four students hospitalized immediately, recounted her experience upon the bus’s collision with the building.
“I remember that things got bumpy and we were continuing to go,” Serrano said. “And I remember the impact and feeling glass rain over me.”
Serrano noted that she was discharged from the Yale New Haven Hospital “within the next hour, hour and a half.”
Deputy Dean of Undergraduate Students Thomas Dunne confirmed in an email to The Daily Princetonian that the driver was discharged on the same day.
A University statement affirmed that the four students suffered minor injuries that were identified immediately on the scene. However, at least two other students sought medical care upon returning to campus.
Chris Gliwa ’21 recalled the medical inspections of each student immediately after being evacuated from the bus.
“Everyone formed a line and doctors from Yale Medical checked us out,” Gliwa said. “Initially, I felt fine, but it was definitely because of the adrenaline rush.”
According to the medical practitioner whom Gliwa visited at InFocus Urgent Care in West Windsor Township, Gliwa developed spasmodic torticollis, a neurological movement disorder, as a result of the accident.
Daisy Torres ’22 said that when a “wooden ledge crashed through the window,” she immediately put her hand up to protect her face, causing her hands to be “covered in glass.”
“I was a bit reluctant to go to the hospital during my time at West Haven because I just wasn’t feeling that bad, but McCosh wanted to make sure I was good,” said Torres, who also hit her head on the ceiling of the bus.
Torres went to Princeton Medical Center Saturday night at 11 p.m. and was discharged two hours later.
Fox 61 reported that the accident was believed to be a result of brake failure. Every student interviewed by the ‘Prince’ reported the same “bumpy” sensation as the bus hurtled down the side road.
“The bus was moving up and down really fast and I heard people screaming,” said Karen Gan ’22.
WTNH reported that the bus crashed into a building belonging to the Anderson Glass Company, an auto glass company in West Haven.
Gliwa said that the employees in the adjacent building, which was unscathed, ran out to help despite the fact that “there were live wires everywhere.”
The commercial buses were arranged by the Undergraduate Student Government to provide transportation for students to the football game at 12:30 p.m.
After the bus accident, some students opted to take the train back to the University instead of riding another Coach USA bus.
“My friends and I took a train back,” Gan said. “We just didn’t feel safe getting on the bus.”
Torres, who rode back with Gan, echoed her sentiments and noted her newfound discomfort with Coach USA.
“I don’t think I’m scarred for life,” Torres said. “But in the near future, I don’t see myself getting on a Coach USA bus again.”
During the weekly USG meeting that took place on Sunday at 8 p.m., Dunne stated that the University would continue to use Coach USA buses, at the very least for the USG-sponsored Thanksgiving buses.
“From a safety perspective, I think that it’s important not to take one isolated incident and extrapolate it out that somehow it’s not a safe option,” Dunne said.