DENVER — An Adams County driver was killed and 18 others were injured after a school bus carrying students and football coaches from Legacy High School crashed into a ramp support pillar at Denver International Airport’s Terminal East on Sunday afternoon.
The Adams 12 Five Star Schools district said 15 students were taken to the hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries. Three coaches were also taken to area hospitals in unknown conditions. The driver, a woman, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Five patients were taken to Denver Health Medical Center. Two were in critical condition, two were in serious condition and one was in fair condition.
Officials with University Hospital said they had five patients from the accident, although it’s unclear what their conditions are.
Children’s Hospital Colorado said it received six patients from the crash, all in fair condition. Four of those patients have been treated and released.
Medical Center of Aurora said it had two walk-in teen patients with minor injuries from the crash. They are expected to be treated and released.
Multiple emergency vehicles blocked the terminal’s Level 4 ramp as investigators worked to learn what led to the collision. The impact crushed the front of the school bus.
“[The driver] ran off the right side of the roadway,” Denver police Sgt. Mike Farr said.
Emergency calls went out around 4 p.m. More than a dozen students and coaches from Legacy’s junior varsity football team made their escape through an emergency exit.
“It’s my understanding they were all able to get out on their own except for the [deceased] driver who remains on scene,” Farr said.
Three buses from the school were at DIA picking up varsity and JV football players after they played games in Chino Hills, Calif., last week. As the buses were leaving, one turned around, heading back toward Terminal East’s passenger pickup area.
“It would be curious that she comes back up around,” Farr said. “Why? I don’t know that answer yet, but medical conditions could be one of those answers.”
Police speculate the driver might have experienced a medical emergency and was attempting to get help.
The hourslong investigation closed Terminal East’s Level 4 arrivals ramp and led to some minor traffic congestion on the departures ramp into Sunday night.
As of late Sunday, authorities had not released any of the bus driver’s medical history.
The airport said parents of students affected by the accident trying to reach their child can call 303-342-2300.
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