SANTEE, Calif. – At approximately 1:30am on Sunday, November 13, 2016, a Volkswagen Jetta hit the back of the charter bus transporting the San Diego Christian College (SDC) men’s basketball team.
The SDC basketball team was returning to San Diego from a game at California State University – Bakersfield and on the southbound Corona 71 Freeway in Chino Hills when the crash occurred near the Grand Avenue exit. California Highway Patrol officers said that the Jetta caught fire and then the blaze traveled to the bus. The bus driver and all passengers (including 16 student athletes, 2 coaches and 1 athletic trainer) evacuated safely from the bus with no major injuries. According to the Chino Valley Fire Department, the motorist of the Jetta was treated by first responders and pronounced dead at the scene.
The SDC players and coaches were picked up by another charter bus from the contracted charter bus company and arrived on campus at 5:30am.
Below is a message from the President of San Diego Christian College, Dr. Paul Ague:
“The crash that occurred Sunday morning was a frightening and sad event. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the deceased driver, as well as everyone involved in the crash including the bus driver, the SDC student athletes, coaches and the first responders.
In times of tragedy, we are reminded of how precious life is and the importance of prayer, support, love and encouragement. As Christians, we are thankful to God in all circumstances and are comforted in knowing that He is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46: 1-2) and that He, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1: 3-4) is with us always.
Through our alumni, student, parent, staff and faculty communities, we have been encouraged with their ongoing prayers and support of our students and coaches. We are thankful to Chick-Fil-A Chino Hills, who reopened their restaurant, so that our players could have a safe place to rest and warm food to eat. We are thankful to the Goldfield Stage charter bus company for ensuring that our student athletes, coaches and athletic trainer arrived back to campus safely. And although, the players have lost their jerseys, equipment, laptops, and other belongings, we know our God provides and material things can be replaced.
We will be proactive in assessing our student athletes, coaches and athletic trainer for any potential delayed injuries, and will be monitoring them over the next few weeks. We will have professional counselors and pastors available for the student athletes, coaches and athletic trainer to help process their experiences. We will do everything we can to make sure our SDC community remains strong, supported and cared for.”
For all inquiries, please contact: Robert Jensen – Vice President for Advancement & Administration, firstname.lastname@example.org or (619) 402-0073.