Blogs and Commentary



 
posted 03.16.2013 at 11.56 a.m. by Corey McLaughlin

Seton Hill Women's Lacrosse Team Bus Crashes, Killing Head Coach and Unborn Child

updated 03.16.2013 at 10.43 p.m.

Kristina Quigley
© Seton Hill

A bus carrying the Seton Hill women's lacrosse team went off the Pennsylvania Turnpike on Saturday morning and crashed into trees near Carlisle, Pa., killing head coach Kristina Quigley, her unborn baby and the driver of the bus.

The bus, which carried 19 members of the team and three coaches, was traveling from Greensburg, Pa., to Millersville University outside Lancaster, Pa. for a scheduled 1 p.m. game on Saturday. The accident, which is under investigation, happened in southern Pennsylvania, about 50 miles from Millersville.

Quigley, 30, was flown to a local hospital and died from injuries from the crash, according to Cumberland (Pa.) County officials, who said she was about six months pregnant. Quigley is survived by her husband, Glenn Quigley and young son, Gavin, Seton Hill said.

"The Seton Hill community is mourning the loss of Kristina Quigley and her unborn son," a school-issued statement read Saturday afternoon. "The University extends deepest sympathy to Quigley's husband and family."

Quigley had just begun her second season with the Seton Hill program. She led the Griffins to 11 victories in her first season. A Baltimore, Md., native, Quigley came to Seton Hill most recently from Erskine College in Due West, S.C., where she started the NCAA Division II program there. Prior to that post, Quigley worked as the assistant lacrosse coach at Duquesne University, her alma mater.

Seton Hill will offer a memorial Mass for Quigley on Sunday, March 17, at 7 p.m. in Saint Joseph Chapel on the university's campus.

According to Seton Hill's athletic website, the Millersville game and Sunday's game against Grand Valley State are listed as canceled but no statement has been issued regarding the rest of the schedule.

It's unclear what caused the accident, and state police are investigating. A state police spokesperson said that the bus veered off the road traveling east, struck a guard rail, traveled 70 yards through grass and then struck a tree, according to multiple media reports. Photos and video from the scene show the front left side of the bus torn off, alongside a tree.

Two other passengers on the bus were airlifted to Penn State Hershey Medical Center and their conditions are unknown. Nineteen others were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries, Seton Hill said. As of 3 p.m. Saturday, 18 were released from the hospital, according to the Sentinel (Pa.).

Seton Hill is a NCAA Division II program located near Pittsburgh. About 2,500 students attend the school. The women's lacrosse team competes in the East Coast Conference.

"We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic bus accident involving the Seton Hill women's lacrosse team today," US Lacrosse president and CEO Steve Stenersen said in a statement Saturday. "There are no words to express the sense of sorrow that we feel for all of those involved. Lacrosse is well-known for having a tight-knit community, and I know that we'll all come together to support Seton Hill in every way possible. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have experienced such incredible loss, as well as team members recovering from injuries sustained in the accident."

Quigley played lacrosse at Duquesne under former head coach Kim Eldridge in 2002 and 2003 while completing her undergraduate degree in secondary education. She served as a volunteer assistant at DU under current head coach Mike Scerbo in 2007.

"Kristie was a great coach and mentor, but more importantly she was a wonderful person," Scerbo said Saturday. "She had so much passion for lacrosse, life and most importantly her family. She will be missed."

Erskine athletic director Mark Peeler said Quigley had left the school after three years to be closer to family in accepting the Seton Hill job in 2011.

“This is such a tragedy," Peeler said. "Our hearts and prayers go out to her family and the Seton Hill community."

The Cumberland County Coroner's Office said Anthony M. Gueaetta, 61, of Johnstown, Pa., died at the scene. He was the driver of the bus, according to a statement from the Cumberland County Department of Public Safety. Seton Hill said the bus was chartered through Mlaker Charter & Tours of Davidsville, Pa. The AP reported Saturday night that the company was up-to-date on its inspections.

This is the second bus crash involving an NCAA lacrosse team this week. On Tuesday, the Saint Michael's men's lacrosse team was involved in a crash in New York that left one person in another car dead. No one on the St. Michael's team was seriously injured in that crash.

A campaign had already started on social media Saturday night, urging players and teams to wear crimson and gold laces — Seton Hill's school colors — to show support for the program.

Lacrosse Magazine contributor Mark Macyk contributed reporting.