The UVa-Wise softball team was on its way to Wheeling Jesuit, West Virginia on Friday night when a rear tire reportedly blew out and the bus caught fire. The team and coaches were safely able to exit the bus. The team’s equipment was originally thought to be destroyed, but some items were saved. The bus was destroyed. Police who responded to the fire had a local high school bus transport the team and coaches to a nearby hotel. A charter bus will transport the team back to campus on Saturday. Chancellor Donna P. Henry was thankful the team and coaches were unharmed.

The College will ground all its buses until the vehicles are checked out by an independent shop. The College is doing this out of an abundance of caution.

“We thankful that our softball team and coaches were safely removed from the bus when it caught on fire following a tire blowout in Ohio tonight,” Henry said. “The safety of our student-athletes is of utmost importance to me and UVa-Wise. We have had several minor bus breakdown in past months, but nothing as serious as the incident Friday night. The administration and I will look into the situation and take necessary steps to ensure all of our buses continue to operate safely.”