A member of Miami University’s Men Glee Club is recovering in a Pennsylvania hospital after a bus accident in Erie, Pa. occurred during a tour over winter break.
In total, the accident sent four members of Glee Club to the hospital and left eight with minor injuries.
Glee Club Director Ethan Sperry said the Glee Club had just completed the first of seven shows while on tour across Cleveland, Buffalo, Boston and New York City.
The group left Cleveland at 9 a.m. Jan. 6 and was just an hour and a half into the drive when the first van in a caravan of five vans and a bus crashed to the side of the road near Erie, Pa.
According to the Pennsylvania State Police report, senior Sean Barry fell asleep at the wheel causing the vehicle to drift toward the median.
Upon waking up, Barry jerked the wheel to the right causing the vehicle to strike road signs as it flipped onto its roof.
The police report said of the eight passengers in the vehicle, seniors Peter Blank, Philip Stichtenoth, Timothy Spears and graduate student Andrew Crist sustained minor injuries.
Barry and sophomore Patrick Muccio, suffered major injuries while first-years Adam Saxe and Taylor Love received moderate injuries and all four were hospitalized at the Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa.
According to Susan Mosley-Howard, dean of students, Muccio, Saxe and Love have been discharged from the hospital while Barry remains listed in fair condition.
Barry was unavailable for comment.
Sperry, who was in the bus two minutes behind the first van, said he became aware of the accident when the bus driver asked him if that was one of their vans on the roadside.
“It was amazing how quickly help started to arrive-literally within the two minutes it took to catch up with the van a nurse had pulled off the road to help, along with other vehicles,” Sperry said.
Sperry said the emergency personnel were there within seven minutes.
Glee Club President David Johnson said he woke up on the bus when it approached the wreckage and said everyone was worried about the guys in the van.
“We are all still shook up about what happened,” Johnson said. “Everyone has been very supportive and offered all the help they can.”
Sperry said the next show in Buffalo was not postponed because the hospitalized men and their families wanted the club to continue the tour.
Sperry said the Glee Club’s mood was more somber than usual while on tour.
“These men were confronted with how fickle life can be,” Sperry said. “A brotherhood has been formed and Miami should be very proud of these guys.”
Johnson said the entire Glee Club is excited to be back at Miami to see the members that were hospitalized.
“Our spirits are still high and we are optimistic,” Johnson said.
Sperry said the outpouring of support for the Glee Club has been tremendous.
Miami’s administration has been very helpful, Sperry said, and members have received numerous calls.
Other university choirs and sororities have signed the guestbook on the Glee Club’s Web site.
“You really know who your friends are when things like this happen, it is so much harder when it happens right in front of you,” Sperry said.