The Husky Marching Band will not be playing at the Apple Cup today after the Thursday night crash of a charter bus carrying members of the band and spirit squad to Pullman.
“The Husky Marching Band is like a family, and we do everything together,” said Brad McDavid, director of UW athletic bands, in a statement released Friday.
“With that in mind, the band will not attend the 2018 Apple Cup game in respect and consideration of the recovery our students and staff need following our bus accident last night,” he said.
In a show of support, the WSU marching band spent Friday learning how to play “Bow Down to Washington,” the UW fight song, reported the Seattle Times.
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“The Huskies are missing their band, and that’s an important part of the gameday experience,” WSU band director Troy Bennefield told the Times. “We want to honor the camaraderie and their dedication and show our sportsmanship.”
The bus was carrying 56 people when the driver lost control on an icy roadway about 5:30 p.m. on Interstate 90 west of George. The bus left the road and rolled onto its side, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.
UW reported that 47 people were taken to local hospitals for evaluation Thursday night.
Friday morning two remained under medical care, but their injuries did not appear to be life threatening, according to a UW news release.
The Seattle Times reported that it was one of six charter buses traveling to Pullman for the annual football game between the Washington State University Cougars and the University of Washington Huskies.
About 280 students and staff were taken to George Elementary School Thursday night, where residents brought them Thanksgiving meals and other food, according to the sheriff’s office.
They were later bused to Moses Lake to spend the night, according to the sheriff’s office.
The decision to take the Husky Marching Band back to Seattle was made as “it became evident that our band members need to recover and return home,” said Jennifer Cohen, director of athletics, in a statement.
“The health and well-being of our students is our top priority,” she said.
She thanked the first responders, Quincy School District and the administration and staff of George Elementary “who went far out of their way to take such incredible care of our students on Thanksgiving night.”
“Many of the most helpful and supportive community members were Cougars fans, who demonstrated the caring values of WSU, which transcend rivalry,” Cohen said.
The WSU Marching Band posted to Twitter that its thoughts and prayers were “with the UW band family.”