First responders to fatal turnpike bus crash find ways to cope - abc27 WHTM

Cumberland County

First responders to fatal turnpike bus crash find ways to cope

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Kristina Quigley (Photo: Seton Hill Univ. Athletics) Kristina Quigley (Photo: Seton Hill Univ. Athletics)
© The Sentinel © The Sentinel
© The Sentinel © The Sentinel
© The Sentinel © The Sentinel

The firefighters, police officers and EMT's who responded to the tour bush crash that killed the driver and Seton Hill University's women's lacrosse coach did not know any of the victims personally. But they still take it personally when any of those victims do not pull through. Now, they are all trying to find their own way to cope.

"We were dispatched for a tour bus crash with entrapment and possible fire," said Brandon Fink, a paramedic at Cumberland Goodwill EMS.

"There's no substitution for experience, but there's really nothing that can plan you for what you're going to encounter," said Lt. John Weiser with Cumberland Goodwill EMS.

They were first on scene. A charter bus that was carrying the Seton Hill women's lacrosse team to Millersville University for a game ran off the road and smashed into a tree. The driver, Anthony Guetta, died at the scene.

"A mess. It's just, it's pure hell," said Weiser. "It's everybody in their time of need."

"Not all calls compare to a call like that," said Fink. "We were overwhelmed with the number of patients we had."

They were all rushed to area hospitals.

"It was a horrific visual but we all had a job to do, we worked as a team," said Fink.

"Till the time that we put the last patient and marked control was right around 43, 45 minutes," said Weiser. "All 23 patients were accounted for and treated."

But the lacrosse team's head coach, Kristen Quigley, died at the hospital. So did her unborn baby boy.

A hard thing for first responders to accept after their valiant effort.

"We are blessed to have our chaplain program. We also lean on each other," said Weiser. "Sometimes it's even something as simple as picking up the phone and telling the loved ones you have at home that you love them."

"I can't say there's anybody here that doesn't appreciate that," said Fink. "It's a big help to all of us."

ABC27 News looked into the bus company's safety profile. Mlaker Transportation's record is nearly perfect.

State police said it will take a week to figure out what caused the crash.

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