According to the North Dakota Highway Patrol, a 64-year-old Miguel Gascal, of Mesquite, Nev., was traveling with passenger Amalia Vasquez, 62, of Michoacan, Mexico, at approximately 9:35 a.m. Friday, Nov. 12, in a 2006 Lincoln Navigator when Gascal lost control of his vehicle on an icy bridge. Gascal's vehicle entered the median before turning back onto the eastbound lane. The vehicle was then struck by a 2011 Vanhool T2145 bus — operated by Harlow's School Bus Service and driven by 65-year-old Terrence Johnson, of Belfield. Both vehicles came to rest in the south ditch.

The passengers of the bus, the Dickinson State University football team and staff, sustained no injuries, but both the driver and passenger of the Navigator sustained injuries in the crash. The crash remains under investigation by the North Dakota Highway Patrol, who noted in their accident report that weather conditions were windy with blowing snow and road conditions were ice covered.

NDHP Sgt. Darcy Aberle noted that though the accident is still being reviewed, it would most likely be a minor citation if there one were to be issued. However, Aberle said in a phone interview with The Press at 3 p.m. Friday that they are not at that point.

As winter closes in, Aberle said it's crucial drivers are "vigilant of weather conditions changes."

"This is one of those things where roads were pretty good — probably most the trip across the state for the people. And within a mile of where they had the crash, they hit ice," Aberle said. "You just got to drive the conditions, give yourself extra time and slow down... This is one of those deals where conditions with your side wind, you're oversteering to keep yourself in the lane and when you hit a bridge or something that blocks the wind, you're steering a different direction. And with a little bit of ice, it probably got them a little bit loose and that's where they lost control."

Newsletter signup for email alerts

At the time of the accident, the Blue Hawks were headed to Waldorf University, located in Forest City, Iowa, for the team's last regular season game that is still scheduled for noon MST Saturday. Head Coach Pete Stanton noted that he and the team feel "very fortunate" that the accident didn't result in any major injuries for both parties.

"It's always an unfortunate situation, but the main thing is that everybody was safe and okay," Head Coach Pete Stanton said, adding that he was riding in the bus ahead of the other DSU bus when the accident took place. "... We just talked to our guys and they did a great job of remaining calm. We didn't have to talk to them a lot about it and we were able to transfer most of the team onto the other bus and we got them to Fargo safely where the second bus came and got us."

Both vehicles in the accident sustained damages, Stanton said, explaining that the extent of those damages is still being reviewed by the NDHP.

According to NDHP, both Gascal and Michoacan were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. Aberle noted that there is nothing life threatening of Gascal's and Michoacan's injuries at this moment.

Responding to the scene were representatives of multiple agencies, including the Kidder County Sheriff's Office.