Timeline: Niagara's Nightmare Bus Trip
On Monday night while returning from a loss at Pittsburgh, the Niagara women's basketball team found itself stranded on the New York State Thruway because of a devastating snowstorm. The players' horrific ordeal lasted for more than 24 hours before they were rescued by the state police early Wednesday morning. Here is a timeline of their nightmare journey home, including tweets and updates from the players and coaches on the bus.
9 p.m. Monday
The Purple Eagles fall to the Panthers 70-54 at the Petersen Events Center.
10 p.m. Monday
The team boards the bus and hits the road for what is typically a four-hour drive to Lewiston, New York.
1 a.m. Tuesday
The bus first encounters the dangerous winter storm wreaking havoc on western and central New York but continues to drive through the conditions on the New York Thruway.
2 a.m. Tuesday
The rapidly accumulating snow becomes impossible to pass through. Along with hundreds of other motorists, the bus becomes stranded in West Seneca, New York.
Is this real life?- Victoria Rampado (@VictoriaRampado) November 18, 2014
8 a.m. Tuesday
Still stranded, director of basketball operations Rene'e Polka continues to share the team's nightmare with the public on Twitter.
Going on 6 hours stranded on the NYS Thruway outside of Buffalo. @WGRZ- Rene'e Polka (@rpolka24) November 18, 2014
9:45 a.m. Tuesday
For those of you keeping track at home: We have spent a total of 12 hours on the bus, 8 of those in the same exact position. #BuffaloSnow- Rene'e Polka (@rpolka24) November 18, 2014
11 a.m. Tuesday
The story starts gaining the attention of local media outlets.
Niagara University Women's BB team stuck on the Thruway. I have an update coming up- Lou Raguse (@LouRaguse4) November 18, 2014
2 p.m. Tuesday
As local and national media outlets begin reporting the story, the hashtag #NUWBBStrandedOnBus starts trending on Twitter.
3:24 p.m. Tuesday
The state police arrive via snowmobile with updates but no immediate plans to rescue the squad.
3:30 p.m. Tuesday
Clearly desperate to find ways to pass the time, the group takes and shares sad selfies from the bus.
4:55 p.m. Tuesday
The team runs out of food and water.
5:44 p.m. Tuesday
The bus remains snowed in and there seems to be little to no timetable about a potential rescue.
Update: no update. No word from responders. #NUWBBstrandedonbus- Kendra Faustin (@kfaustin) November 18, 2014
8:30 p.m. Tuesday
The team's story has been shared everywhere from "SportsCenter" to The Weather Channel. Despite the publicity, it is still stuck.
9:30 p.m. Tuesday
The team is beyond grateful when a group of rescue workers stop by with snacks.
S/o the rescue workers for giving us snacks �������� #NUWBBstrandedonabus- #Grind2Shine (@_TC3__) November 19, 2014
10 p.m. Tuesday
The Purple Eagles commemorate being on the bus for 24 hours with another series of sad selfies and pictures and a prayer circle.
10:30 p.m. Tuesday
Along with dozens of cars around them, they are still stranded. A woman in a nearby car reportedly gives birth while stuck, according to multiple players.
I/we truly are blessed to be in the situation we are in a baby was just delivered in one of the cars God watch over the others- Focused. (@sylvoslice24) November 19, 2014
1:43 a.m. Wednesday
State troopers -- armed with water and granola bars -- are able to rescue the coaches' young children and a driver of a nearby car whom the team invited to sit on the bus. The team remains on the bus.
State trooper brought water and granola bars. Took babies and passenger off the bus. Thank you thank you! Hope for us all to be home soon.- Kendra Faustin (@kfaustin) November 19, 2014
4 a.m. Wednesday
After 26 hours of being stranded on the Thruway, the team is finally rescued by the New York state police.
WE HAVE BEEN RESCUED!!!!!!!- NiagaraWBB (@NiagaraWBB) November 19, 2014
Off bus! These gentleman rescued us! pic.twitter.com/e6BhOax7c6- Kendra Faustin (@kfaustin) November 19, 2014
We are safe at toll plaza. Making our way to police station and then to campus. pic.twitter.com/cd7iWoWClm- Kendra Faustin (@kfaustin) November 19, 2014
On our way back to campus now! pic.twitter.com/urg4bYAhiD- NiagaraWBB (@NiagaraWBB) November 19, 2014