Bus Driver Was Unconscious in Accident That Killed Seton Hill’s Pregnant Lacrosse Coach (UPDATE)By Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
Anthony M. Guaetta, the 61-year-old bus driver, who passed away in the vehicle crash that also killed a Seton Hill Lacrosse coach, was unconscious at the time of the incident, a nine month investigation revealed.
The Johnstown man might have suffered a medical emergency, a heart attack or stroke , which led the Seton Hill University women's lacrosse team bus to crash along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Trooper Robert Hicks, a state police, said that an autopsy performed by a forensic pathologist on Guaetta "revealed that there was evidence to suggest that the driver could have suffered a medical condition, which could have caused sudden unconsciousness," TribLive reports.
State police said that the autopsy found evidence of heart damage in the body of the driver. Toxicology reports also showed that the driver was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
"Speed was ruled out as a factor in the crash and no mechanical defects to the bus were found which would have contributed to this crash," Hicks said. "All of the physical evidence is consistent with that of a crash involving an unconscious driver."
The tragic crash killed the 30-year-old team coach and Greensburg resident, Kristina J. Quigley and her unborn child. The accident also injured other passengers. According to autopsy reports, Quigley died of multiple traumatic injuries and her unborn child died of blood loss. Guaetta died at the scene from massive blunt force trauma.
Hicks said that a reconstruction of the crash showed that the bus driver did not attempt to brake and the tires were 'freely rolling' while the bus drifted off the highway, supporting the hypothesis that Guaetta lost consciousness immediately before the crash.
"It also showed that the rear tires tracked on the tire marks of the front tires, which indicates that there was no attempt by the driver to steer," Hicks said. "There was enough total evidence to say he was unconscious during the crash, but not enough specific medical evidence to say exactly from what."
In respect to the death of the coach, the university cancelled the remainder of the team's 2013 season after taking consent with the players. It was Quigley's second season as coach.