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Albany River Rats (carolina, Ahl) Bus Involved In Accident


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BECKET, Mass. (AP)—Three people were seriously injured when a bus carrying the AHL’s Albany River Rats rolled on its side on Interstate 90 in western Massachusetts early Thursday, state police said.

The bus carrying the hockey team home from a game in Lowell struck a guard rail and rolled on its side at about 3:35 a.m., Sgt. David Mahan said. Three people were taken to the hospital with what he called “serious” injuries. Names were not released.

Twenty-nine others on the bus were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Mahan said slippery roads caused by overnight snow may have been a factor in the crash. Both lanes of the highway were closed following the accident.

The River Rats lost 3-2 in a shootout to the Lowell Devils on Wednesday night.

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Should add that as of 9:18am EST, the AHL and Albany websites have no mention of who may have been injured.

just found this on the (Albany) Times Union newspaper site:


Members of River Rats injured when bus rolls in Mass.

At least three seriously injured

By CHRISTEN GOWAN, Staff writer

Last updated: 8:44 a.m., Thursday, February 19, 2009

BECKET, Mass. - Three players and employees of the Albany River Rats were seriously injured this morning after their team bus slid in snow and rolled on the Massachusetts Turnpike just before 3:30 a.m., Massachusetts State Police said.

The injured people are a mix of players and team employees, Rats coach Jeff Daniels said, but declined to identify any of them until families can be contacted.

Police describe the injures as serious, but Daniels said they did not appear to be life threatening.

"We were very fortunate and lucky," Daniels said.

Daniels said the bus rolled after hitting bad weather on a return trip from Lowell. It struck a guardrail, coming to rest on its side and partially on the highway. The discovery of the disabled bus prompted other motorists to stop their vehicles on the highway and then try to slow approaching traffic, Daniels said.

Some seriously injured suffered lacerations during the accident.

Everybody on the bus was taken to Berkshire Medical Center. Four people were admitted for treatment and all aboard were being checked out by medical staff as a precaution.

"They've been great looking after us," Daniels said. "The shock is starting to wear off."

The bus was heading back to Albany after playing in Lowell, Mass. Wednesday night. It overturned just east of Lee.

The coach and the rest of the team are still at the hospital this morning.

The River Rats are scheduled to play Friday night at the Times Union Center against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. It's unclear if the game will be played.

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River Rats in accident: On travel and sports

February 19, 2009 at 8:30 am by Mark McGuire

You don’t need to be an actuary to do the math.

Sports teams travel X number of miles every season in dozens of trips by bus, by air, by van.

The more you travel, the greater the odds of an accident.

The No. 1 gripe of many athletes is travel, even more than grueling practices or contract squabbles. It’s an acknowledged part of the job; nobody plays all their games at home. But nobody wants to be on a bus for three, or six or 10 hours. For the pros, the thrill of flying charter wears off quick enough.

And nobody, I mean nobody, wants to think about those odds of something bad happening during all that travel. Athletes don’t envision ever getting hurt. They certainly don’t want to think about the worst of worst-case scenarios.

The Albany River Rats will be coming home today, hours after the team bus rolled on its side on a slick Interstate 90 in Massachusetts. Details are still emerging, but three people associated with the team were injured.

Right now, it sounds like this team was lucky. Police describe the injures as serious, but Coach Jeff Daniels told the Times Union’s Christen Gowen that they did not appear to be life threatening.

The best of stories often begin: “It could have been worse …’’

Scores of young men and women in their prime have been wiped out in an instant in team-related accidents, from the 1949 Torino, Italy, soccer team, through the 1961 U.S. Olympic figure skating team, onto the 1977 Evansville men’s basketball team.

There have been more. A 2001 plan crash killed 10 players and others associated with Oklahoma State basketball.

They’ve made movies about transportation disasters involving sports teams (“We Are Marshall,’’ “Alive’’).

In the fall of 2007 the Elmira Jackals of the ECHL were involved in a bus accident in Pennsylvania. No one was killed. But earlier than year, seven people died when a bus carrying the Bluffton University baseball team crash in Atlanta.

Yeah, call the River Rats lucky. Albany has a home game slated for Friday night, but will soon be back on the road. Travel will still be a pain. But they know it could be a lot worse.

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that first TimesUnion.com link is updating the story...

the names of the injured have now been released:

Players Nicolas Blanchard, Joe Jensen, Casey Borer, Jonathan Paiement, and radio commentator John Hennessy remained behind at the Berkshire Medical Center for treatment

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