An Adams County school bus driver who had just picked up about 28 members of the Legacy High School football team Sunday afternoon at Denver International Airport circled back to the airport and crashed into a concrete pillar.
The female bus driver was killed in the crash, and several passengers suffered injuries requiring hospitalization, Denver police Sgt. Mike Farr said.
Four adults were on the yellow bus, including the bus driver, and the adults apparently bore the brunt of the impact as the front of the yellow bus crumpled.
Two passengers were in critical condition and two were in serious condition at Denver Health Medical Center. Another was in fair condition, Denver Health officials said. Six passengers were taken to Children’s Hospital fair condition, and four have been released. Others were taken to University Hospital.
At the scene, paramedics worked to extricate the driver and injured passengers from the mangled metal and glass at the front of the bus after airbags deployed. The Denver Fire Department, airport teams and other agencies responded to the crash.
Two other Adams County school buses were at the airport picking up team members and were not involved in the crash.
“The bus driver circled back around to this level. We don’t know why,” DPD’s Farr said.
“The early information from the other bus drivers is that it was quite curious to them. They really don’t know why.”
School district officials said they could not provide information and names of those on the bus were not released. A district spokesman could not be reached. School district officials at DIA declined to provide information or discuss what happened.
The bus driver had picked up about 28 players before leaving DIA — they were headed home after a trip to California — and circled back to the airport terminal, DIA spokeswoman Stacy Stegman said.
The crash happened at 4:08 p.m. The bus was moving up one of two public-access roadways, “level 4,” police said. Shortly before reaching the terminal, the bus veered off the right side of the roadway and collided with the concrete pillar.
Legacy High School, in Broomfield, is part of the Adams 12 Five Star Schools district. The Legacy football team had been participating in a tournament in California, where Legacy lost to Chino High School on Friday night. DIA officials said the buses carried players from the varsity and junior varsity teams.
Parents raced to DIA Sunday evening. The uninjured passengers were pulled into a conference room, where Denver police investigators interviewed them about what happened on the bus. DIA officials provided water and snacks.
“The kids are pretty shook up,” Stegman said. “It was an unusual incident.”