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4 Montana students injured in van crash

SUPERIOR, Mont. — Four Montana State University-Northern women's basketball players were injured when their van crashed early Monday.

None sustained life-threatening injuries, school officials said. The van was returning from Oregon to the school's campus in Havre.

Montana Highway Patrol Capt. Tom Hamilton said two people in the van were ejected in the crash shortly after 1 a.m. on a curve along I-90. Head coach Chris Mouat was driving the school-owned, 15-passenger van, which flipped onto its side, school officials said.

Much of western Montana was under a winter storm warning Monday with rain, snow and strong winds hitting the area. The team was returning from a loss in an exhibition game Sunday against Portland State.

Utah State University spokesman John DeVilbiss hadn't heard about the crash until contacted by media. Following the Sept. 26 death of eight students and one professor in a van crash, USU is still reviewing its policy on the use of the school's own fleet of 15-passenger vans.

"I think the university is well on the way of completely eliminating the 15-passenger van," DeVilbiss said Monday. "There hasn't been a final announcement on that."

DeVilbiss said nothing is "inherently" wrong with 15-passenger vans and that problems come when other factors arise — in USU's case, he added, it was the van's tire blowing.