Dubuque Women's Basketball Assistant Stops Team Bus After Driver Passed Out

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2018

A ball hits the rim during the NCAA South Regional semifinal college basketball game in Houston, Friday, March 26, 2010. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Justin Smith—an assistant coach for the Division III University of Dubuque women's basketball team—stopped a bus Sunday and avoided an accident after the driver passed out.

According to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com), Smith took charge when the bus hit a guardrail on its way back to Iowa from a tournament in Nashville, Tennessee.

None of the players, coaches or personnel on the bus were injured.

After the incident, Smith described the state of the team, saying, "We're still a little in shock. I'm just thankful everyone's OK. ... I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. The actual initial accident and me jumping out and grabbing the wheel felt like three seconds."

The bus hit the guardrail at approximately 70 mph while on Interstate 24 in Kentucky.

When emergency personnel arrived, the driver was conscious. Smith said the team left Nashville an hour earlier than originally scheduled because the driver said he wasn't feeling well.

Smith added that the team has done well to recover from the harrowing experience: "The girls didn't recognize the severity of it right away. When you're 18, 19, 20 years old you feel invincible, and that's a good thing they can bounce back from. We had a good practice [Monday] and had a good film session."

Dubuque is 3-9 so far this season, and it will return to action Wednesday when it takes on Loras College.

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