(UnitedVoice.com) – The Pittsburgh Pirates traveled from Chicago to Milwaukee on June 15, where they played the Brewers over the weekend. The Brewers were victorious at the end of the series, but that’s not what dominated the headlines. It turns out the Pirates were just lucky to get to the city alive.
Late Thursday night, the Illinois State Police were escorting the Pirates out of town when they noticed something strange. A spokesperson for the department said troopers noticed Ronald E. Funderburke, the 61-year-old bus driver, wasn’t following the officers. He was driving away from them while they were trying to lead the team.
While the vehicle was on Interstate 94, the troopers noticed the driver was behaving erratically and pulled him over. A radio transmission indicates law enforcement initially believed the driver might be experiencing a medical emergency. However, the spokesperson said the police observed “multiple signs of impairment” and decided to arrest Funderburke and charge him with a DUI.
ICYMI: A bus driver contracted to drive the Pittsburgh Pirates from Chicago to Milwaukee on Thursday night was arrested for DUI after the team's police escort noticed he was driving erratically.https://t.co/EdVXXRF5Wv
— CWBChicago (@CWBChicago) June 17, 2023
Brian Warecki, the Pirates’ senior vice president of communications, confirmed what happened in a statement to journalists. He said the team was “deeply concerned regarding what transpired” in Illinois. He went on to say that everyone arrived safely in Milwaukee, and they are “in communication with the appropriate parties regarding” the incident.
An average of 10,000 people die every year in DUI crashes. These accidents account for all one-third of traffic-related deaths. Hundreds of thousands of people are injured in crashes involving someone who is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Had the bus crashed, it could have killed members of the Pirates organization or innocent people on the road. Crashes involving buses are especially deadly. On the same day the driver was arrested in Illinois, a bus crash in Canada killed 15 people.
So, even though the team lost the baseball series against the Brewers, it’s a victory that they survived the bus ride.
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