MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins' Rookie level Elizabethton's team bus was involved in a fatal crash early Tuesday in Jacksonville, Fla., but no one on the bus was injured, the club announced Tuesday.
The bus was taking Minor League players and coaches from Fort Myers, Fla., to Elizabethton, Tenn., when a car crossed onto the wrong side of Interstate Highway 295 and struck the bus, authorities said. The driver of the car, Corshane Brown, 28, was killed as a result of the crash, according to the Florida Times-Union.
"It's one of those scary moments," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "If you have ever done a lot of traveling on buses like a lot of us have, you know it's out of your control. So it's a scary moment. But it sounds like the bus driver did an incredible job and probably saved a lot of people's lives. So I'm just glad everyone is OK from the baseball team, but I'm sad to say someone lost their life in the crash."
Everyone on the bus was unharmed and a second bus was able to take them safely to Elizabethton. The team, which plays in the Appalachian League, is set to start the season on Thursday.
Twins hitting coach Joe Vavra's son, Tanner, was on the bus, as he was selected by Minnesota in the 30th round of this year's First-Year Player Draft and was assigned to begin his career at Elizabethton.
"He called us at 3:30 in the morning and you never want to get that middle-of-the-night call, but he said he was fine and everyone on the bus was fine," Vavra said. "They had just switched drivers up around Jacksonville. So they were about 15 miles into it with the new driver and they were passing a semi and a car came across the wrong lane at the top of a hill and they had nowhere to go with the semi next to them. So the driver braked and told them to brace themselves. So Tanner said they braced themselves and it felt like hitting a deer. The car went right under the corner at the driver's side."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.