Trombone player Patrick Stanton with the Husky Marching Band in 2015. Now a UW senior, the Lake Stevens High School graduate and his sister, Elizabeth Stanton, will play with the band in Santa Clara, California, Friday. (Ian Terry / Herald File)

Trombone player Patrick Stanton with the Husky Marching Band in 2015. Now a UW senior, the Lake Stevens High School graduate and his sister, Elizabeth Stanton, will play with the band in Santa Clara, California, Friday. (Ian Terry / Herald File)

Silenced by bus crash, Husky Band is now ready to sound off

UW siblings from Lake Stevens part of the group that will play at the Pac-12 Championship in California.

Late Thanksgiving afternoon, Terri Stanton had a text from her 19-year-old daughter. It wasn’t to wish the Lake Stevens mom a happy holiday.

“She texted, ‘Patrick and I are fine but one of our buses flipped,’” Stanton said Wednesday.

Elizabeth Stanton, a University of Washington sophomore, and her 21-year-old brother, Patrick, are in the Husky Marching Band. The day before last Friday’s Apple Cup in Pullman, they were on two separate buses traveling east on I-90.

Neither was on the band’s chartered bus that slid off the interstate near George and rolled onto its side just before 5:30 p.m. About 40 passengers were taken to hospitals; their injuries weren’t life-threatening.

Stanton said both of her daughter’s UW roommates were on the bus that crashed, and were “banged up and bruised.” Elizabeth’s mellophone, similar to a French horn, was on the bus too, but wasn’t damaged.

“It was not the Thanksgiving we anticipated,” said Stanton, a teacher at Arlington’s Haller Middle School.

The group didn’t play in Pullman, where Washington State University’s band performed the Husky fight song before the game. Husky band members spent a night in Moses Lake hotels after the people of Grant County treated them to dinner at George Elementary School.

What a difference a week makes. Elizabeth and Patrick Stanton, along with all their band mates well enough to go, boarded a California-bound charter flight Thursday.

Elizabeth Stanton, a 19-year-old UW sophomore from Lake Stevens, puts her “dubs up” as she carries her mellophone with the Husky Marching Band. She and her brother, Patrick Stanton, will play with the band Friday at the Pac-12 Championship game in Santa Clara, California. Her horn was on the band bus that rolled over last week on the way to the Apple Cup. She and her brother were on different buses. (Courtesy Elizabeth Stanton)

Elizabeth Stanton, a 19-year-old UW sophomore from Lake Stevens, puts her “dubs up” as she carries her mellophone with the Husky Marching Band. She and her brother, Patrick Stanton, will play with the band Friday at the Pac-12 Championship game in Santa Clara, California. Her horn was on the band bus that rolled over last week on the way to the Apple Cup. She and her brother were on different buses. (Courtesy Elizabeth Stanton)

On Friday, the Husky Marching Band will be back on a football field, at Levi’s Stadium. At the Pac-12 Championship in Santa Clara, the band will sound off with the same halftime program it had planned for Pullman.

“We’re not downplaying kids who are injured, but a phrase that’s been used is ‘a Thanksgiving miracle’ — that’s exactly what I would term it,” said Brad McDavid, director of the Husky Marching Band for 25 years. “It could have been far, far worse.”

Normally, McDavid said, the budget wouldn’t allow for the entire 240-member band to go to a Pac-12 Championship. Already, a pledge drive was on for Santa Clara. After what happened last week and with the support of UW Athletic Director Jen Cohen, McDavid said much of the band is going to Friday’s UW-Utah game. “Our hearts are a little heavy not to have the entire band family,” he said, explaining that some injured members weren’t cleared by doctors to participate.

“We’re excited they’re going to be down there, and so thankful everyone is safe,” said Jay Hilbrands, the UW’s assistant athletic director for public relations and communications. And win or lose Friday, the Huskies will play in some bowl game, Hilbrands said.

The Washington State Patrol ticketed the 36-year-old driver of the bus that rolled. She was cited for driving too fast for icy and slushy conditions, according to a State Patrol memo quoted in Spokane’s Spokesman-Review. Along with the $136 ticket, a $51 collision fee was levied, the newspaper said.

One passenger on a Husky band bus, but not the one that crashed, was Quincy High School Principal Marcus Pimpleton. From 1996 to 2001, he was in the Husky Marching Band as a trombone player and a drum major.

Now a field assistant with the Husky band, Pimpleton was on the fourth of six buses carrying the group on Thanksgiving, said John Boyd, Quincy School District superintendent. It was Pimpleton, Boyd said, who called 911 and helped with planning where band members would be taken.

The Quincy superintendent called a facilities director who called Carol Leibelt, the George Elementary School custodian. “She was phenomenal,” Boyd said. School staff came in on the holiday. Heat was turned on. The school kitchen opened.

As word spread, “people started showing up with Thanksgiving pies and leftover food,” Boyd said. “Ironically, we’re in Cougar country. People in Cougar outfits were feeding the Husky Marching Band.”

Later that night, another district employee helped deliver band instruments to students in Moses Lake, Boyd said. And Lynn Bales, director of Moses Lake Community Health Center in Quincy, arranged for mental health counselors to be available.

“It was a beautiful circumstance — people coming together to support people in need,” Boyd said. “With all the negative we hear, there’s so much good in the world.”

Patrick Stanton, a UW senior and trombone player, is on track to graduate with a degree in political science.

His Nov. 23 Facebook post is a video from the University of Florida’s Gator Band. On the Gators’ field, it shows orange-clad students spread out in the shape of a U.S. map. A cheer squad unfurls flags in a diagonal line, from Florida to Washington. “We’re sending band love from our corner of the country to yours,” one Florida student says.

Sharing the video, Patrick commented on Facebook: “This is so sweet I might actually cry.”

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; jmuhlstein@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Capt. Kate Songhurst demonstrates proper CPR during the PulsePoint launch press briefing Tuesday morning at Kasch Park in Everett on September 14, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Having a heart attack? New app will alert nearby CPR givers

Ambulances can only drive so fast. PulsePoint alerts nearby trained citizens when there’s a medical emergency.

Work related to improvements at the intersection of Highways 9 and 204 will close a road and reduce lanes in Lake Stevens through Oct. 1. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Road disruptions starting around Highway 9 in Lake Stevens

Lane reductions and closures are part of the work to improve the intersection at Highways 9 and 204.

Rebecca Haskins (Everett Police Department) 20210913
Missing Everett teenager located

Rebecca Haskins had last been seen the morning of Sept. 4. Police reported her found Wednesday.

Jeremy Fuerst (Northwest Washington Synod)
Everett pastor dies while mountain climbing in Colorado

Pastor Jeremy Fuerst, 44, came to Central Lutheran Church in 2015.

Sultan police looking for tips after rash of car prowls

On Sunday, the department responded to 20 reports at Sportsman Park and trailheads near Gold Bar.

Arlington man allegedly killed by son is identified

Nicholi Melum, 63, had an argument with his son, Garner, last week and was shot.

State Supreme Court to hear case of Edmonds gun-storage law

In February, an appeals panel said state law pre-empts the city from enacting its own firearm rules.

Police: Marysville woman was killed, left in Chelan County

The woman was found dead alongside U.S. 2 on Sept. 7. The case is being investigated as a homicide.

Exterior of the Van Valey House on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett giving nonprofit museum historic Van Valey House

The Everett City Council agreed to transfer ownership of the Colby Avenue home on Wednesday night.

Most Read