Bus Carrying Kahuku Girls Water Polo Team Flips Over

Jalan Tangaro
Jalan Tangaro

WAIKANE (KHNL) -- A frightening end to a local sports team outing - a school bus full of teenagers flips on its side and crashes into a stream along Windward Oahu.

On board the bus was the Kahuku High School Girls Water Polo Team. It was quite a chaotic scene as the players scrambled to get out of the flipped bus.

Emergency Medical Services says 28 people total were taken to the hospital - two students in serious condition, the rest in stable condition, including the bus driver and a chaperone.

Kahuku High School Athletics Director Joe Whitford says the girls were headed to a scrimmage when their journey took a dangerous turn.

It was a scary ride for the water polo team as their bus crashed on its side Thursday afternoon and into Waikane Stream.

"We heard a big boom, we came running out here and all the girls running up to the road trying to sit down because they're all scared already, some of the girls had cuts and scrapes," said Jalan Tangaro, a witness.

A See It Snap It Send It picture courtesy of Ryan Sonognini captured the accident off Kahekili Highway near Waikane Valley Store. Authorities say the bus driver swerved to avoid hitting a car that stopped, then skidded off the highway.

"There were some leg injuries, one of the girls I guess had a cut on her head. A couple girls might have tweaked their back and so those were basically the ones we were concerned about," said Whitford.

Police contraflowed traffic, causing a messy commute as crews tried to pull the bus upright and tow it away, a scene witnesses say fortunately did not take a tragic turn.

"They all came out good, all safe. Main thing, nobody got hurt, nobody got killed. Some of of them got real bad hurt but at least they're still alive," said Tangaro.

It took five hours for crews to tow the bus away.

Police closed the crash site around 7:00 p.m. in both directions because crews were having a hard time getting the bus out in the dark.

Lanes re-opened by around 8:30 PM.