GARLAND - Ellen Cook, Headliner Media Specialist, December 14, 2022
A bus crash on Monday, December 12, west of Tremonton, left 33 passengers bound for Salt Lake City stranded in Box Elder County. Some were transported to area hospitals while those uninjured were taken to the Garland Armory Reception Center for shelter.
There, Lanette Sorensen, Garland City emergency manager, and her team worked throughout the day to provide for the needs of those under her watch. Seven of the 12 who initially arrived where eventually sent for medical care, but by the end of the day 23 passengers, including the bus driver, were housed in the Armory, she said. She was in communication with the bus line during that time on what needed to be done for those at the armory, although a representative did not come in person. Sorensen said passengers were served breakfast, given coffee, provided with a lunch and much more.
“The passengers who were patrons of the reception center were given meals throughout the day, chairs to sit in or cots to rest on,” Sorensen noted. “The community also donated snacks, blankets and pillows.”
She noted that all luggage was brought to the center. “Every single one here had their luggage,” she said. "That was one of the questions we asked when they left.” Other items that may have been lost in the rollover were not returned, however.
Javier Munoz, with Garland Fire Department said his department had personnel at the Armory until 5 p.m., that evening helping with patient care and assisting passengers with needs. “We had blankets and pillows donated by the public and Kent’s and McDonald’s provided breakfast and lunch for the passengers, and The Pie Dump supplied coffee,” he said.
By 4:30 p.m., all passengers had been picked up by relatives, taken by bus or transported away by other means from the Armory to Salt Lake City hotels, Sorensen said. No one remained in the armory overnight.
A recent article posted by Fox13 News painted a much different picture of the aftermath of Monday's crash. It quotes some of the passengers as saying, “They’ve hardly been fed and don’t have money to buy food,” or have “gone a day without food.” Some even stated “they feel completely stranded,” or “left to fend for themselves.”
Sorensen says she is disappointed and even confused at such comments. “I know they were well-fed and cared for at our reception center,” she said. “I am disheartened after all the effort my team went to on Monday.”
Munoz just called the FOX13 News article “misleading.”