The Williamsport Crosscutters were involved in a bus accident late Tuesday night, following their game against the Brooklyn Cyclones. Six people were brought to the hospital with minor injuries, and all were treated and released. The Crosscutters, an affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, compete in the Class A Short-Season New York-Penn League.
The accident occurred at approximately 11:18 p.m. in Staten Island. The Susquehanna Trailways bus, carrying 52 passengers, was en route to the team's downtown Brooklyn hotel from Coney Island's MCU Park when the driver erroneously crossed the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge into Staten Island. The bus then collided with an SUV at an off-ramp of the Staten Island Expressway while attempting to make a U-turn, allegedly after running a red light. The impact from the crash sent the bus careening into a guardrail, which prevented it from plunging down the embankment and onto the expressway below.
Despite the harrowing incident, the Crosscutters played Wednesday's scheduled noon game against the Cyclones.
"Traveling in baseball the last five or six years, you never think that's going to happen," Crosscutters third baseman Cody Asche told New York City's WABC News, prior to Wednesday's game. "Something can happen any day, and we're lucky."
"It didn't turn out too bad, but maybe if we were going five or 10 miles an hour faster, who knows what would have happened?" said pitcher Mike Nesseth, also to WABC.
The Crosscutters are not commenting on the specifics of the crash, pending an official investigation. But Gabe Sinicropi, the Crosscutters vice president of marketing, is sure that the small community's loyal fan base will offer an especially warm welcome when the team returns on Sunday for a five-game homestand.
"This is a small town, and word will certainly get around," he said. "I'm sure that the team is going to get quite a rousing ovation on Sunday night."