Pa. College Awaits Answers as it Mourns Pregnant Coach

At least one lacrosse player remains hospitalized

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The pregnant head coach of the Seton Hill women's lacrosse team was killed, along with the driver, in a bus crash Saturday morning on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Two local members of the team were injured in the crash. NBC10's Monique Braxton has the details.

    At least one player from a Pennsylvania women's college lacrosse team remains hospitalized as police search for answers to why the team bus veered off the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

    Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Rob Hicks says it will be weeks before police determine why the team bus suddenly left the road Saturday.

    “There's just rumors. Nobody knows,” said Men's basketball coach Tony Morocco.

    The Saturday morning crash killed 30-year-old Seton Hill University coach Kristina Quigley, her unborn child and the bus driver.

    Seton Hill player Amanda Michalski remained hospitalized Monday, in fair condition.

    Twenty-three players and coaches were aboard the bus when it crashed on the way to a game at Millersville University.

    A moving church service was held at the school for Quigley on Sunday.

    “It's a tough one, because this is really not a university, this is a family,” Morocco said of the crash's impact on the small Catholic university.

    The bus crashed into a tree on the Pennsylvania Turnpike outside Harrisburg. The team was headed to a Saturday afternoon game at Millersville University, about 50 miles from the crash site in central Pennsylvania.

    Head lacrosse coach Kristina Quigley, 30, of Greensburg, died of her injuries at a hospital, Cumberland County authorities said. Quigley was about six months pregnant, and her unborn son didn't survive. The bus driver, Anthony Guaetta, 61, of Johnstown, died at the scene.

    Two of the injured passengers are from Montgomery County. Nicole Rossi, a sophomore from Collegeville; and Rachel Hilbert, a senior from Perkiomenville, were both treated at area hospitals and released.

    At Sunday's memorial service, somber athletes, students and school staff hugged and cried in a century-old chapel on the campus, where Quigley was remembered as warm, outgoing and a natural leader.

    The service program read “In Loving Memory of Kristina Quigley and Son.”

    The ornate chapel with 20-foot high stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes, marble columns, and arched ceilings, echoed with biblical readings and songs, followed by prayers and sermons.

    The Rev. Jeremiah O'Shea reminded those in attendance of their own mortality by asking
    “Aren't we all so helpless in the face of death?”

    He said the school mourns Quigley “with great sadness in our hearts but with hope” for her eternal salvation.

    Greensburg Bishop Lawrence Brandt told students and staff that he shared in their loss and sorrow.

    “It's numbing,” said sophomore Kt Dimmick of Rochester, N.Y., who was friends with some members of the team. “There's really no words for it. The simple fact that she was pregnant.”

    Some members of the women's lacrosse team, wearing their team jerseys, walked down the aisle during the service, holding hands and fighting back tears. They were joined at the service by members of the school's track, basketball and baseball teams. Some students wiped away tears, while most were somber and quiet through the service.

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    Morocco said Quigley made an impact in the two years she was at the school.

    “In the short time she was here, she was really a sincere person who always used coaching to touch kids,” he said. “Often that is so missed.”

    Morocco said that the school's mission is to take a student and develop their soul. “She did that,” he said.

    “What she gave those girls is going to outlast this,” the 70-year-old Morocco said.

    Quigley, a native of Baltimore, was married and had a young son, Gavin, according to the school. No members of her family spoke at the service.

    A small memorial to the coach and team sprouted in front of a lacrosse net on a field next to the university's baseball complex earlier Sunday. With the baseball players practicing in the background on a cold day, students and other mourners visited the memorial that featured bouquets of flowers, stuffed animals, a lacrosse stick, a whistle and a candle in front of a team photo and signs reading “In memoriam - Kristina Quigley - Forever a Griffin.”

    Members of the baseball team and fans observed a minute of silence for the two crash victims before their game.

    The Catholic liberal arts school of about 2,500 students on 200 wooded acres atop a hill overlooking was plunged into mourning when word of the crash reached campus Saturday. The school is offering grief counseling to students.

    The front side of the bus, which was towed from the scene Saturday night, was shorn away, and the vehicle came to rest upright about 70 yards from the highway at the bottom of a grassy slope. 

    The bus operator, Mlaker Charter & Tours, of Davidsville, Pa., is up to date on its inspections, which include bus and driver safety checks, said Jennifer Kocher, a spokeswoman for the state Public Utility Commission, which regulates bus companies.

    The agency's motor safety inspectors could think of no accidents or violations involving the company that would raise a red flag, she said, though complete safety records were not available Saturday.

    On Tuesday, another bus carrying college lacrosse players from a Vermont team was hit by a sports car that spun out of control on a wet highway in upstate New York, sending the bus toppling onto its side, police said. One person in the car died.

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