Thursday, March 15, 2007
Bluffton baseball coach released from hospital
ATLANTA -- A college baseball coach injured in a bus crash
that killed five of his players and injured 28 was released from
the hospital Thursday, and said the hardest part was not being able
to be with his close-knit team to help them grieve.
Bluffton baseball coach James Grandey says he remembers nothing of the March 2 crash.
"It's hard not to be there as their coach," James Grandey said
outside the hospital. "I want to help them through the process."
Grandey, the baseball coach at Bluffton University in Ohio, was
injured along with 28 players in the March 2 crash on Interstate 75
in Atlanta. Five players, and the bus driver and his wife, were
Grandey, who suffered multiple broken facial bones, said that
God brings only situations that people can handle.
"I wonder why I survived ... I don't know, God has a reason,"
said Grandey, 29, dark bruises under his eyes and his jaw still
partially wired shut. "There's a reason for those that didn't
survive as well. We'll never know that answer until we ourselves
Grandey added, "In some way we'll have to find a way to turn
this into a positive."
Grandey, who sat in the front seat of the bus, he said he
remembers nothing of the crash.
"The last thing I remember is turning the DVD player off and
laying down to go to sleep," he said. "The next thing I know I'm
sitting in the median, trying to figure out how we fell."
Investigators said the bus driver apparently mistook the ramp
for a regular highway lane, traveling up it at "highway speeds."
The bus than crashed into a concrete barrier at a T-intersection at
the top of the ramp, flipped off the overpass and fell 30 feet back
onto the interstate.
Tim Berta, a student coach and senior from Ida, Mich., remained
in critical condition Thursday at Grady Memorial Hospital, said
spokeswoman Denise Simpson. Berta is the only player to remain
hospitalized from the crash.
His father, Rob Berta, said his son, who remains on a
respirator, squeezed his hand after he spoke to Tim early
On Wednesday, state road workers began adding safety features,
such as signs and reflective stripes, to several commuter-lane
exits along the interstate in Atlanta, including the one involved
in the bus crash.
Paul Schlamm, spokesman for the National Transportation Safety
Board, said the agency is still investigating the crash and it has
not made any conclusions or recommendations. But he said a
preliminary report likely will be released next week.