NW Indiana students stranded on bus during East Coast blizzard

GRIFFITH, IND. (FOX 32 News) -- The winter storm that hit the East Coast over the weekend also trapped some local Northwest Indiana students on a bus for almost 24 hours.

A group of 8th grade students, chaperones and school staff from St. Mary’s in Griffith, Indiana headed home from Washington, D.C. Friday night when their bus got stuck.

An accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike just outside Pittsburgh caused the interstate to become a parking lot Friday night.

“We kept waiting and waiting and nothing and I looked outside and I was like the snow came up to half my body,” said Jovhana Chenoweth.

For almost 24 hours the group shared snacks like cookies and crackers, held mass in the snow with other stranded travelers and tried to sleep as much as possible. 

After help from the National Guard, local firefighters and even a call from Indiana governor Mike Pence - the bus was finally able to continue home Saturday night. They arrived in Griffith Sunday morning around 7am.

Some of the 8th grade girls even played in a basketball game Sunday afternoon – 6 hours after arriving home. They didn’t win the game, but coach Julie Strezo, who was also on the trip, said she’s proud of her girls.

“I was extremely proud of them as a coach they were exhausted and they held their own,” said Strezo.

The trip is an annual event for the school. Eighth graders go to D.C. to participate in the “March for Life.”

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