Coen: 'We were lucky'Bus' windshield smashed by debris en route to playoff game
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
WAYLAND — WACO’s toughest battle Wednesday night in its Class A football playoff game at Lynnville-Sully may have been getting to the game.
While the Warriors suffered a 28-8 loss to the Hawks in the game at Sully, the Warriors were fortunate to get to the contest.
During the trip to the contest, the WACO bus was following a truck carrying particle board. A sudden wind gust caught some of the particle board (measuring 1.5-2 inches in width) and threw it into the windshield of the bus, breaking out the passenger side of the bus’ windshield and cutting driver Neil Reichenbach and Warrior head coach Chad Edeker, who was seated in the front passenger seat.
“We were very lucky,” said WACO Superintendent Pat Coen. “It (the boards) could have decapitated someone, but no one was seriously hurt.”
The incident happened at 4:20 p.m.
So how did the team get to the game?
Coen said that a Pekin Community School District bus happened to come onto the scene (the incident occurred near Martinsburg). The Pekin bus had just finished its route and the driver offered to take the WACO team, coaches and managers to the game.
Meanwhile, when school officials learned of the incident, Coen and WACO Elementary Principal Brandt Snakenberg drove a pickup and another WACO bus to the accident site and game.
Coen said he kicked out the remaining portion of the windshield. “It only took one kick and it caved in,” he stated.
The two administrators cleaned out the bus and put the pieces of windshield in Coen’s pickup.
Following the game Coen drove Snakenberg back to the damaged bus, which Snakenberg drove back to Wayland, sans windshield. The pair arrived in Wayland about 12:30 a.m.
“It all happened so fast,” Coen said this morning. “It could have been very bad. Nobody was hurt though, that’s the good thing.”