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Band instructor killed, students hurt in Idaho bus crash

Associated Press / October 12, 2009

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INKOM, Idaho - A bus carrying a Utah high school band swerved off an Idaho interstate and crashed on its side, killing an instructor and injuring at least a dozen students, police and a school official said.

Two students were taken by helicopter Saturday night to a hospital in Pocatello, John Miller, director of the American Fork, Utah, high school band, said. Another 12 were sent to a hospital by ambulance with serious injuries, and 30 students were taken to a hospital for minor injuries, he said.

Idaho State Police said a preliminary investigation showed that the bus driver had a medical condition that caused the crash.

Police have identified the person killed as 33-year-old Heather Christensen of Spanish Fork, Utah. She was the school’s woodwind instructor.

The crash occurred on Interstate 15 as the band headed back to American Fork High School after a competition with several other bands in Pocatello.

Miller told the Salt Lake Tribune that the instructor killed in the accident tried to avert the crash by grabbing the steering wheel after the driver lost control and the bus veered off the road.

Miller said the instructor tried to get the bus back on course, but fell out a window as the bus rolled.