After attending the March for Life in Washington, D.C., members of John Carroll University’s Respect for Life group had no idea their journey home would elapse into 36 hours on a bus.
Thirty-eight JCU students along with two faculty advisors drove home from D.C. and were stranded ten miles west of Bedford, Penn. on the turnpike, I-76, when they drove into 18 inches of snow.
Respect for Life president, Halle Herringshaw said, “Everyone remained in high spirits and were able to make the time stranded go by much quicker. We watched movies, played games, played in the snow and talked to people from other buses.”
Students were stranded after leaving D.C. at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22. “We thought we had beat the storm, but the snow-covered roads had caused several accidents and roadblocks, which is what got us stuck in the line of traffic,” said sophomore Emily Mullen.
“Due to the snow, there were semi-trucks that had to be removed one-by-one from an incline, where they got stuck,” Mullen said.
Many of the buses that were on the highway were also coming back from the march, so they decided to come together and hold mass on the side of the road, even forming an altar out of snow.
Eventually people from all of the buses began digging the snow out from around the stuck vehicles. “We started digging the snow out from around our bus and the buses around us with our hands, feet, posters and boxes,” said Herringshaw.
The students were able to clear enough snow for the buses to move. “Similar to Ignatius’ prayer of generosity, everyone was giving and not counting the cost,” said freshman John Tucci.
The group of John Carroll students returned back to campus at 2 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23.