CUMBERLAND, Md. — A charter bus driver driving Hedgesville High School football and cheerleading team members home from a game in Morgantown early Saturday morning was charged with DUI.
In a message to parents, Hedgesville High School Principal Ron Lyons said school officials on a second bus noticed the erratic driving on Interstate 68 in Cumberland, Maryland.
“The teams were traveling east through Allegany County, Maryland on I-68 on two buses chartered by Varsity Travel Company, when members of our coaching staff noticed the driver of the lead bus was driving erratically and at a high rate of speed. Coaches called law enforcement from the bus as they travelled through Allegany County. The trailing bus was able to signal the lead bus to stop at a Love’s Travel Center just east of Cumberland, Maryland. The Cumberland City Police Department met the buses at the Love’s Travel Center. After the buses were stopped safely at approximately 1:30 a.m., all members and coaches of the teams on the bus in question were safely removed from the situation. The Cumberland Police have charged the bus driver with driving under the influence of alcohol and have also cited him with numerous other traffic offenses.”
The students were consolidated onto the remaining bus and headed home.
.@HedgesvilleF experienced a frightening situation while going home on I-68. @MatthewFairclo4 explains what occurred while heading back to Hedgesville to @HoppyKercheval. WATCH: https://t.co/yCFQ3nDJuy pic.twitter.com/wOhRjLWqA2
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) September 20, 2021
Hedgesville coach Matt Faircloth said Monday on MetroNews “Talkline” the driver was weaving in and out of lanes and even going off the highway.
“Anybody that travels down 68 at night knows that when you’re traveling down these hills and going up those hills at a high rate of speed it can get very bad, very quick,” Faircloth said.
He said they lost the game earlier at that night to Morgantown High but that ended up being not that important.
“This thing could have gone south very quick. We’re blessed that are kids were able to get home safe,” Faircloth said.
The team arrived back at the school at around 4:30 a.m.
Faircloth said he’s proud of the players, cheerleaders and staff.
“Our kids and coaches were faced with an unfortunate situation but they handled themselves very well,” Faircloth said.