Stanford track team escapes burning bus in Seattle

SEATTLE (KGO) -- Some frightening moments for Stanford's Track team heading to a meet in Washington State. The charter bus they were on caught fire after experiencing a flat tire on Interstate 5 in Seattle.

Everyone on board escaped without injury but there were a few rattled nerves.

The team's bus quickly became fully engulfed sitting underneath a ramp on I-5. The Stanford athletes were in route to a track meet at the University of Washington campus.

"All of a sudden we heard a pop, it kind of sounded like a gunshot and we pulled to the side of the road and noticed smoke billowing," said Catherine Pagano, member of Stanford's track team.

Once everyone made it out of the bus, they were left stranded on the highway.

We spoke with two of the team's pole vaulters.

"It was pretty calm for the most part and then we realized all of our stuff was under the bus -- like our uniform and our shoes, so we got a little nervous after that but everything made it out, so we were really lucky," sad Senior pole vaulter, Nicole Summersett.

"We hung out on the side of the road, played some music with the speaker, kept things calm," added track member, Jackie McNulty.

After two and a half hours, the team was transported to the University of Washington campus in a city bus.

"We got some of our kids coming over here, nervous about the meet and then this happens and you realize, there's much bigger things in life," said Chris Miltenberg, Stanford Track head coach.

Students back on the Stanford campus were worried for their friends.

"I was really scared, I texted her, I said OMG, what's wrong, are you ok? She's like our bus caught on fire but we're fine," said Valexa Orelien, a sophomore Stanford student.

Track team members say they are ready for Saturday's meet and plan to make the school proud.
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