May 11, 2019

Oakwood University Touring Choir Involved in Fiery Bus Accident

The Oakwood University Aeolians touring choir was involved in a fiery bus accident just hours before a scheduled performance in San Francisco, California, United States. 

According to a press release from the university’s Office of Integrated Marketing and Public Relations, the accident occurred around 12:25 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on May 4, 2019, as students traveled from the San Francisco airport to their hotel accommodations.

Additional news sources reveal that a broken-down vehicle in the road triggered the accident, as drivers swerved to avoid colliding with the vehicle. One car slammed into the back of the bus, killing the driver, and burst into flames. The fire then spread to the touring bus. Fortunately, students and staff were able to get out before the entire frame was engulfed, destroying all personal items and belongings. 

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) checked students and staff at the scene, and no life-threatening injuries were reported. Choir director Jason Ferdinand said that they were “shaken up, very much so, but thankful we lost things and not lives.” 

The choir did not allow the accident to keep them from sharing their talents. Later that day, they performed at the San Francisco Philadelphian Seventh-day Adventist Church. 

According to school reports, a well-known clothing company store learned of the students’ plight and offered them some clothes to replace part of what they lost in the accident. Thankful students performed a few songs at the store, which attracted customers and passers-by.

About the Aeolians

The world-renowned Aeolians choral group has performed at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall and won a number of choral competitions. Despite the acclaim, their website shares: “In everything that the Aeolians do today, service is first. Whether it be sharing in worship during rehearsal, or ministering at church; whether it be competing in a world class competition or embracing little children on the mission field, the Aeolians are there to answer the call and to, ‘Do the will of my Father who sent me!’ Many lives have been touched all over the world by what this choir has done for the last 70 years.”

Oakwood University is a historically black Seventh-day Adventist university in Huntsville, Alabama, United States. It is owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The original version of this story was posted by the Adventist News Network.

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