Saturday, March 16th proved to be anything but an ordinary day for MU and Seton Hill’s women’s lacrosse teams. The teams were scheduled to compete against one another later that day at MU. Mia Hall, MU’s head lacrosse coach, received an email from a Seton Hill University student around 9:52 a.m., her anticipation for the upcoming game quickly turned grim.
Seton Hill’s lacrosse team was en route to play MU when the team was in a bus accident while traveling on the PA Turnpike near Carlisle.
Hall quickly learned that Seton Hill’s head coach, 30-year-old Kristina Quigley had been flown to the hospital. Unfortunately, Quigley who was about six months pregnant with her unborn son, Jackson, died from injuries sustained in the accident.
The 61-year-old bus driver, Anthony Guaetta, died on the scene when the Mlaker Charter & Tours bus veered off the turnpike around 9 a.m., struck a tree and then came to rest about 70 yards from the road.
According to Bill Capone, a spokesman for the PA Turnpike Commission, many injuries were sustained during the accident. Two other passengers on the bus were also airlifted to Penn State Hershey Medical Center.
There were 27 passengers onboard the bus which appeared to have had its left side peeled away. The cause of the accident still has yet to be determined, as stated by police.
MU’s Saturday match against Seton Hill was cancelled due to obvious reasons. During the time when the team was to be on the field with Seton Hill, MU’s 25-member team assembled in Jefferson Hall for grief counseling.
The idea was “just to keep the girls talking because [the emotion] comes in waves,” stated Hall.
“Our whole team is heartbroken,” said Hall, who had to text her players to inform them of the tragedy that occurred. “They were coming to play us. So it hits home a little harder.”
Quigley was married and also the mother of a young son, Gavin. She was a graduate of Duquesne University and coached in South Carolina before returning to PA.
Hall, a 2007 MU graduate and former Maruader lacrosse star, she remembers Quigley as always being “super sweet.”
MU held a blood drive the following Tuesday to help the stricken team. The women’s lacrosse team plans to honor Quigley’s memory as they compete and take road trips themselves.
To coincide with the memory of the late Kristie Quigley and assist in her young son Gavin’s scholarship fund, MU’s lacrosse team is selling crimson gold wristbands embroidered with the slogan “onelaxfamily” and initials “KQ” for $8. The wristbands can be purchased at the web site:www.millersvillelacrossecamps.com/seton-hill-onelaxfamily.cfm. For those not interested in purchasing wristbands but would still like to donate to Gavin’s scholarship fund, visit www.gofundme.com/2bt9g4#description.
“We live in this lacrosse bubble for three or four months,” said Hall. “When something like this [accident] happens it knocks the breath right out of you.”