SAN JOSE, Calif. -- A driver minding her own business was traveling south along California Highway 101 when the lights and sirens of motorcycled police escorting a parade of buses carrying Denver Broncos players sped up behind her.
Rather than pull off to the side as the motorcade approached Highway 237 in Sunnyvale, the driver stopped. And thus set off a chain reaction that caused three Broncos buses to collide and a police officer riding between the first and second bus to swerve and drop his motorcycle on the pavement.
The team in a statement said no players were hurt in the accident Monday afternoon although several players said they were jolted by the collision. Some complained of headaches and soreness.
The California High Patrol said the officer who dropped his bike was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.
"It was strange,'' Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who was sitting near the front of the first bus involved, told 9News Monday prior to the Super Bowl 50 Opening Night media event at the SAP Center here. "It fits right in with this season. Strange and a lot of different things that have occurred. … It's very fitting.''
The Broncos were on their way back from a walkthrough practice and conditioning workout at Stanford Stadium when the accident occurred a little before 2 p.m. PST. According to several Broncos who were on the buses, the police escort came up on some traffic when the driver of a white car ahead seemed to panic and stop, rather than pull off to the side.
The first bus, which was carrying Demaryius Thomas and Manning sitting near the front and Kapri Bibbs in the back, slammed on the brakes and swerved to miss the car.
"We had a good bus driver,'' said Broncos linebacker Lerentee McCray, who was sitting a few rows behind the front.
A trailing bus of Broncos players rear-ended the first bus as the officer riding his motorcycle between the first and second buses narrowly missed a more serious result.
"I was sitting in the back and you could definitely feel the impact from behind,'' Bibbs said. "It wasn't really that bad. It was like a fender bender at a stop sign. I'm just glad the cop got out of the way because that could have been a real tough deal.''
A third Broncos bus then hit the second bus -- and then the first bus, also.
"I was sitting in the back (of the third bus) and I felt a bump. A bump or two,'' said Broncos reserve quarterback Trevor Siemian. "It was after practice and guys were winding down. And then everybody perked up.''
The third bus had enough windshield damage to render it undriveable. Players on that bus got off and climbed aboard a trailing fourth bus. Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak and his staff were on the first bus that left about 45 minutes before the other buses and were back at the team hotel when the accident occurred.
"Fortunately everybody's fine,'' Kubiak said. "Just add to the story of the week, I guess.''
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