Braves' Class A Advanced team involved in bus crash

Seven Carolina Mudcats players, team trainer taken to hospital with minor injuries

Braves' Class A Advanced team involved in bus crash

CINCINNATI -- Braves assistant director of player development Jonathan Schuerholz knew something was wrong when he received a phone call from Class A Carolina Mudcats trainer Joe Toenjes on Tuesday at 4 a.m. ET. A short time later, he was among the many feeling thankful that no significant injuries were suffered after the Mudcats' team bus had overturned on a rural North Carolina road.

"We feel very fortunate with the outcome, given the circumstances," Schuerholz said. "When you see and hear what happened, it obviously could have been much worse."

Toenjes and seven unidentified players were treated and released from a nearby hospital early Tuesday morning. At this time, the Braves are not divulging the specifics of the injuries that were caused by the accident.

After regrouping, the Mudcats, who became the Braves' Class A affiliate this year, arrived in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Tuesday at approximately 1 p.m. ET. Tuesday night's game was postponed, and it is not known whether Carolina and Myrtle Beach will play Wednesday's scheduled game.

"There were a lot of scrapes, bumps, bruises and headaches," Schuerholz said. "We are still evaluating how long some of the players will be sidelined."

The accident occurred in Columbus County, N.C., approximately an hour before the club was scheduled to complete its trip from Salem, Va., to Myrtle Beach. Greg Young, the Mudcats' director of broadcasting and media relations, heard the unidentified female bus driver scream just before the bus exited the roadway and entered a ditch in front of a set of railroad tracks.

"When I heard her yell, I looked up and we were heading into a corner real fast," Young said. "We were fortunate to avoid a cluster of trees that were located on the side of the road. We all tried to brace ourselves before the bus landed on its side."

Infielder Reed Harper immediately got out through an emergency exit and began helping other players off the bus. Catcher Joe Odum alertly dialed 911, while also helping some of his teammates exit the wreckage.

"The players did a great job," Young said. "They all quickly accounted for whoever they were sitting next to and made sure they were OK. We were all grateful once it was apparent that no one had suffered a significant injury."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.