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Coach in school bus crash: 'We were involved in a miracle'

SHORELINE, Wash. - As Washington State Patrol continues to look for witnesses to a weekend school bus crash involving the King's High School basketball team, students and staff of the private Christian school say they are thankful nobody was seriously hurt.

"We were involved in a miracle Saturday night," assistant principal and coach Rick Skeen told a student assembly Tuesday. "The fact we were all able to walk off that bus and out of the hospital is nothing short of a gift from God."

The men's basketball team was returning from winning its district championship game Saturday night when the bus veered out of control exiting Interstate 5 to Highway 104, rolling onto its side.

"It really puts things in perspective," senior Calvin Kispert told classmates.

"We were going 60-plus miles an hour," Andrew Ayers remembered. "The fact that we didn't have anything worse than a concussion is just so surreal. It could have been way worse."

The bus did not have seat belts. Nine of those on board were taken to Northwest and Swedish Edmonds hospitals with cuts, concussions and a broken arm, troopers said.

Investigators released 911 calls on Tuesday that suggest the bus was traveling too fast as it tried to exit.

"Was it at freeway speed?" a dispatcher asked.

"Oh yeah," the caller answered. "He just came flying right off the freeway."

Troopers say the driver claimed the brakes failed, but investigators found them to be functioning. A spokesperson told KOMO News the crash was still under investigation as of Tuesday. Troopers were looking for witnesses, asking anybody who saw the crash to call (425) 508-0602.

For those on board, the crash was a reminder that life can be fragile and fleeting.

"Don't have any regrets," Skeen told students. "Tell people you love them. Don't assume they know."

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