SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A bus carrying the University of Notre Dame women's swimming team home from a meet overturned on an icy road during a snowstorm early Friday, killing two members of the squad and injuring eight.
One swimmer was severely injured and required back surgery, officials said. Seven other occupants of the bus were treated for minor injuries, officials reported.
Killed were freshmen Colleen Hipp of St. Louis and Margaret Beeler of nearby Granger, university officials said.
The severely hurt swimmer was identified as Haley Scott, whose age and address were unavailable. She was at South Bend Memorial Hospital, police said.
'It's a great loss,' said Notre Dame Athletic Director Dick Rosenthal. 'One of the girls indicated to me the back end of the bus swerved on an ice patch. I'm sure it was weather-related.'
Rosenthal said he had spent most of the night in area hospitals with the young women.
The chartered bus was returning from a meet at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., when it hit the icy spot on the Indiana Toll Road about 4 miles west of the exit to the Notre Dame campus, Indiana State Police Cpl. Louis Brown said. The bus, which was in the left lane, swerved off the road, flipped over and landed on its roof, Brown said.
Brown and National Weather Service officials said there was heavy, blowing snow at the time of the accident, about 12:20 a.m. Conditions at the time were about 20 degrees with visibility of a half mile to three- quarters of a mile, weather officials said.
Police reached the scene about 12:29, thanks to a call from a driver following the bus, who had a mobile telephone, according to Dennis Brown.
Brown, the university's assistant director of public relations, said the bus carried 37 people: 32 team members, three coaches, a student manager and the driver, Howard Dixon, 53, of Mishawaka. The bus was chartered from United Limo, based at Osceola.
The university scheduled a 5 p.m. memorial mass Friday at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus. Notre Dame President Edward Malloy, who was in Washington, D.C., at the time of the accident, was returning to the campus and was expected to preside at the liturgy.