Manual coach and player talk about former teammate in bus crash - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Manual coach and player talk about former teammate in bus crash

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Lauren Bodine Lauren Bodine
Stacy Pendleton Stacy Pendleton
Morgan Allen Morgan Allen

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – It was a frightening bus crash in Massachusetts Tuesday night that had a Louisville connection. Just north of Boston, the driver of a bus carrying the University of Maine's women's basketball team passed out at the wheel and the bus ran off the interstate.

"It was just amazing and a miracle," said Stacy Pendleton, girls' basketball coach at Manual High School, "that no one was hurt worse than they were."

So far from home, it was hard on a coach and a best friend not being able support Louisvillian Lauren Bodine.

"She text us as soon as she could," said Morgan Allen, her former teammate.

"I just looked up and everybody was like, ‘whoa!'" said Bodine, who talked with us about the crash from the hospital where everyone was taken to get checked out.

Bodine, a former Manual High guard who helped lead the Lady Crimsons to a state championship in 2012, took us through her harrowing ride on I-95 near Boston as the bus full of girls and coaches from the University of Maine went flying when the driver, going at least 60 miles per hour, passed out from an apparent illness.

"We started to swerve on our side of the highway, but we went airborne from the snow banks on the side from all the snow we've been having up here," explained Bodine, "and then we landed on the other side of the highway and down into the woods and hit trees."

The girls had to climb out windows and shimmy down trees to safety. The bus driver suffered serious injuries.

"I've been best friends with Lauren since I was 8," said Allen, a senior captain and guard who also played three high school seasons with Bodine at Manual.

"Freaked out," is a good word said Allen of her reaction to the wreck. "It was scary just to hear that she had to climb out a window and they went across a median and hit a tree."

Besides being a head coach, Pendleton is a parent and a certified bus driver. 

"Sometimes, we take for granted their safety and their well being until something like this happens," Pendleton said.

Something the coach and Allen are both certain about is that Lauren was a great teammate Tuesday night just as she was at Manual.

"One thing I'm pretty sure of is that Lauren was very courageous and made sure everybody was OK over herself because that's the kind of person she is," said Pendleton.

Pendleton said JCPS does a great job of making sure its bus drivers are healthy and certified to drive on shorter game trips, but he says it's a whole different set of rules for long rides like the one Bodine was on. He also said this simply could be a freak accident.

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