Vandy has bad road trip

The Commodores' team busses was rammed by a truck on the way to Saturday's game.

ATHENS, Ga. — Vanderbilt players, coaches and staff members avoided serious injury when one of the Commodores' team busses was rammed by a truck on the way to Saturday's game.

Vanderbilt defensive end Jovan Haye suffered a possible concussion and was held out of the starting lineup and graduate assistant coach Andrew Kerr was treated for facial cuts. Haye did play as a backup.

The accident occurred at 9:40 a.m. on Highway 129 about three miles after the caravan of busses exited Interstate 85.

"It was a harrowing experience for everybody,'' said Vanderbilt sports information director Larry Leathers, who was on the bus with defensive coaches, 18 players and support staff members.

The team bussed from Nashville, Tenn., to Duluth, Ga., where it stayed Friday night. The caravan of five busses from the Duluth hotel to Athens Saturday morning had a police escort.

The accident occurred about three miles outside of Jefferson, Ga., when a truck cab, which was not pulling a trailer, could not stop at an intersection in time for the caravan.

"The truck hits the brakes and jack-knifed into the driver's side front of the bus and careened down the bus,'' Leathers said.

Vanderbilt team physician Dr. Kurt Spindler said passengers were treated for cuts from flying glass, but within 15 minutes all passengers were loaded onto other busses and the procession to Athens continued.

Leathers said there was substantial damage to the bus and the truck was totalled. The condition of the truck driver was not known.

"It was good everyone walked off (the bus),'' Spindler said. "Quite clearly with the impact of our vehicles the damage could have been worse.''

Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson said the accident was not a factor in the loss to Georgia.

"I don't think the accident affected us,'' Johnson said. "We checked everyone out. I don't want to use that as something that affected us.''

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