Last Updated Sep 11, 2016 10:24 PM EDT
DENVER – Police say a bus driver was speeding before she crashed head-on into a concrete pillar at Denver International Airport while carrying members of a suburban Denver high school.
The medical examiner’s office says 43-year-old Kari Chopper was killed in the Sunday crash that also injured 18 students and coaches.
The students were returning from a football game in California, and the vehicle was circling back to the airport for an unknown reason when it crashed.
Sgt. Mike Farr says investigators still don’t know what caused Chopper to drive directly into the pillar. They are investigating whether she suffered a medical condition. They are also studying the bus for mechanical problems.
Officials say the three coaches remain hospitalized with serious injuries. The students have been released.
The coaches have been identified as Wayne Voorhees, Matt Kroupa and Kyle Rider. The driver’s name was Kari Chopper, according to CBS Denver.
“I still can’t believe it, you know? It’s such a tragic event that happened,” Legacy High School student Kevin Segura told CBS Denver. “He saw the bus driverpass and he’s just really traumatized right now and that’s not something you want to hear.”
Legacy High School is in Broomfield, Colorado, and is part of Adams 12 Five Star Schools. The Denver Post reports that the football team from Legacy played Chino High School on Friday night in California.
The football team will meet at 3:15 p.m. Monday but practice for the team has been canceled.
“The school is operating as normal as it could be, under the circumstances. It is homecoming week so they’re doing their best to still enjoy the week. There may be some changes to that but otherwise they are operating as normal,” said Adams 12 Communications Specialist Mark Poshak.