Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 23, 2014

WACO team bus gets help from Pekin after close call

By BROOKS TAYLOR, Golden Triangle News Service | Oct 25, 2012
GTNS PHOTO The bus carrying the WACO football team to its playoff game Wednesday night is parked on the side of the road after a piece of particle board flew through the front window. The bus driver and head coach were cut, but no one was seriously injured. A Pekin school bus picked up the players and took them onto their game.

WAYLAND (GTNS) — WACO’s toughest battle Wednesday night in its 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 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 a Pekin Community School District bus happened to come onto the accident scene 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.”

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