Monday, February 18, 2008

45 High School Students on a Bus

So...I was in charge of transporting 45 students from Las Vegas to Cedar City for SUU's Multicultural Overnight. I chartered a bus from Mesquite Bus Company and loaded all the students on Thursday [Happy Valentine's Day to me!]. I followed behind in a minivan with another adult advisor and a student who was late. We were just 15 minutes from Cedar City when climbing the Black Ridge the bus' exhaust made a loud "POP" and white smoke started to POUR out the back. Are you kidding me? I slowed down and couldn't see a car's length in front of me from all the smoke. I didn't know if the bus was in the middle of the road stopped, if it had pulled off or if had kept going.... We kept driving through the smoke when we reached the top of the Ridge and the smoke cleared, I saw the bus traveling down the hill with white smoke still swirling out. Yikes! We got to the bottom of the hill when the bus pulled over and the driver jumped out. I, along with the other adult advisor, jumped out of the van and went to inspect. At this point, a small FLAME started to come out of the exhaust pipe. What?! The driver jumped back in the bus, shut the bus off and came back out. A Utah Highway Patrol car pulled up behind us with fire extinguisher in hand. Luckily, the bus never caught on fire...but smoke poured out for a few more minutes. All I can think is "I have these 45 students entrusted to me who are now stuck on a firery inferno of a bus on I-15 and it's 35 degrees outside. I am SO getting mad parent phone calls the rest of the night..." I now have 45 students in a bus, on the side of the road, 15 minutes from Cedar City. My luck, eh? I called the Admissions Office and sent them to get EVERY key to ANY van at Motorpool and told them to hit the road to pick us up. They were able to get 3 vans and a 'shuttle service' was started to get these kids to SUU. Luckily, the bus company was able to dispatch another bus to pick up the students within a 1/2 hour and everyone made it to campus in one piece. What an event!

The rest of the Multicultural Overnight went off without a hitch.....

8 comments:

Heidi's Creations said...

Dana,
Kirk and I went to St. George for Valentines day, when what to our wondering eyes would appear? A tour bus with flames coming out of it's rear. As soon as we passed it and saw the flames, we were glad to see that it pulled off the road soon after. Who would of thought that you were apart of that.

Heidi

Lenzi Woodbury said...

Ah! I knew it didn't sound fun weeks ago but that sounds like it was at least a little....interesting?? Yuck! Hopefully you don't have to do that again any time soon. At least give a girl decent transportation and let it warm up a little!! :)

Paul & Ashley Justensen Family said...

Thank heavens the rest of the night went off "without a hitch"! I would say you had a pretty big hitch to start out with! Keller is the cutest little boy in the whole world!!!

Jeanine said...

Oh my heck talk about every advisors worst nightmare! I can't even imagine what you were thinking. Its so hard not to think the worst sometimes but I am so glad that it worked out good and nothing tragic happened. I always worried about a wreck in Spanish Fork canyon with my kids on a bus in the snow and having to get them all of the bus and it being so cold. Everytime we went I thought, this will be the time and I will be in charge of 50 students in the snow who know how many injured. So glad it never happened. I am glad that it all went smooth after that.

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha! I am SO sorry! What are the odds the bus would almost catch fire 15 minutes from campus? I do not envy those long weekends/bus trips, but I do miss good ol' SUU. Think of all these wonderful adventures I'm missing down there!

Glad to hear you're still alive and the multicultural overnight went well. Hopefully, you'll get some good ambassadors out of the bunch!

Erin Brown

Kimberly said...

Now that is LOVE, Dana, true love!!
WOW!!

The Funderburks said...

Dana, you are a trooper!!

Eardley Fam said...

Oh for the love of SUU!:) Oh how I miss those weekends! If anyone can handle any disaster its Dana!