UM plane slides off runway during departure to Big Ten tournament

Michigan's basketball team had a major travel scare on its way to the Big Ten tournament Wednesday when its airplane aborted takeoff and slid off the runway.

The school said nobody was seriously hurt in the incident as the team was departing to Washington, D.C. High winds in Michigan have been responsible for knocking out power to 405,000 customers in the area.

 

 

The school indicated late Wednesday that it has been able to arrange alternate travel and the Wolverines anticipate being able to play in Thursday's game against Illinois at noon ET.

"We have worked quickly to arrange alternative travel arrangements for the Michigan travel party. We have been in constant contact with the Big Ten Conference and appreciate their support and willingness to work with us as we sorted through all of the issues. As of right now, we will be able to arrive tomorrow morning in D.C. and play the game at noon as scheduled," director of athletics Warde Manuel said in a statement released by the school.

While the team's charter plane sustained significant damage, the passengers on board were safely evacuated.

Michigan coach John Beilein said it was a scary situation.

“Everybody is pretty shook up. There’s only minor injuries.  The big thing to know is we have no major injuries. We do have some minor injuries, but nothing appears to be major. Everybody’s good. It could have been much worse."

 

 

Derrick Walton Sr., dad of senior point guard Derrick Walton Jr., got a call from his son shortly after the incident.

“He called me," Walton Sr. said. "I wasn’t scared. I was cool. I took it to a higher power. He wasn’t scared, but his mother called and she was scared. He’s all right. He’s fine. He didn’t tell me he was scared. He called and his phone clicked off."

Michigan will take a charter flight early Thursday morning and then bus over to the arena for the noon tip.

USA Today Sports


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