Learning to look back

50th anniversary an opportunity for students

September 3, 2021

Fifty years ago eight students and a coach died in a horrific bus crash on Monarch Pass, and GHS commemorated this event throughout Homecoming week. 

While most of the students at GHS are aware of the accident, for many it was the first time hearing the stories first hand. 

GHS stayed a tightly-knit community throughout the tragedy and has honored the students (and coach) ever since. While those students’ lives were cut short, they still live on as an important part of Gunnison’s history.

According to GHS teacher Wyatt Phipps, the pride was obvious in the football team’s performance on Saturday.

“They’re real proud,” said Phipps. “They’re not playing for themselves out there, they’re playing for those players from the bus crash.”

GHS students were filled with school pride throughout the week while honoring the people who lost their lives. The experience was a special opportunity for the students of GHS learn about what actually happened and how much it impacted their school community.

“It’s a sad thing, but I think it’s good that the football game is able to happen on the same day,” said sophomore Lane Stickler.

While the bus crash has brought the community together, it still hurt and scarred the people involved, and their loved ones. 

“It must be hard on the families that lost their children in the crash,” said senior Angela Haugh.

Lacie Wise, a student teach for Bob Howard, brings a very unique perspective to the school because she graduated from GHS and is now back to teach with Howard. Wise is excited to see that we keep the tradition of honoring those students. 

“I think that it’s an honor to get to be a part of something so significant to the Gunnison community and I’m excited that I get to come back to the high school after graduating and get to be a part of something so honorable and commemorative,” said Wise.

Even after 50 years, this event has made students ponder some important things involving their own responsibilities on the road.

Students all over Gunnison have cars and drive inside and outside of town. Being able to drive safely is a very valuable lesson that can be learned from the tragic bus crash 50 years ago. This event scarred the Gunnison community and now future generations can learn from this and drive safely.

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