Weather Forecast


Valley City State women's team bus slides off icy I-29 on way to tourney

A coach bus for the Valley City State University women's basketball team slid off I-29 Monday, March 5 while en route to NAIA Division II Women's National Basketball Championship in Sioux Falls. Photo submitted to Forum News Service

SIOUX CITY, IOWA — The Valley City State University women's basketball team was bound for the NAIA Division II Women's National Basketball Championship when a slick interstate caused some trouble en route to the competition.

The team took off on Interstate 29 in a charter bus Monday morning, March 5, for Sioux City, Iowa. The charter bus slid off the interstate near Watertown, S.D.

"It could've been worse," said Vanessa Keeler-Johnson, first-time head coach for the Vikings. "They were shaken up, but we were able to talk our way through it."

There were 20 passengers on the bus, plus the driver. A spokesperson with the South Dakota Highway Patrol confirmed there were no injuries.

The bus ended up in a creek in a nearby field. The team waited two hours for Watertown Search and Rescue to pick them up and take them to another bus. From there they got as far as Brookings before I-29 closed down due to the winter storm.

The team took an alternate route Tuesday to make it to Sioux City for tournament festivities. Valley City is ranked 14th going into the championship, and their first game is Thursday.

"Now we're here; the stress of getting here is over now we're to win some games," Keeler-Johnson said.

Forum News Service

The Forum Communications News Service is the premier news wire service covering the Upper Midwest, including the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin. In addition to breaking and enterprise news, we offer a wide variety of sports, features, business, agriculture, outdoors and opinion content. For more information about the services we offer or to discuss content subscriptions, please contact us.