Troopers: Man charged with DUI after sideswiping football team bus near Seward

Zaz Hollander

A suspected drunken driver sideswiped a school bus carrying a high school football team on the Seward Highway late Saturday, Alaska State Troopers said.

None of the 26 passengers on the bus was hurt, troopers said.

The Seward Seahawks team was headed south, going home after a game at Voznesenka, near Homer. On the bus were team members and coaches, according to Dave Jones, assistant superintendent of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.

The driver of the Toyota pickup that hit the bus was stopped and detained by witnesses after he fled on foot, troopers said.

Brandon Mason, 29, of Seward was driving the truck, troopers said. A troopers investigation revealed that Mason was driving north when his pickup crossed the center line, narrowly avoiding a head-on collision with another driver. Then he hit the bus, troopers said. The accident, at Mile 6 of the highway, was reported at about 11 p.m. Saturday.

Mason ran from the scene and tried to hide at a nearby home, troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said. Witnesses found him there, stopped him, and told him to stay put in a lawn chair, Peters said. Mason complied, she said.

The bus was described as "drivable" with minor damage to the back of the driver side, Peters said. Witnesses on the bus told troopers Mason appeared to be going faster than the 55 mph speed limit and was swerving all over the road before the accident, she said.

Mason was arrested for driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, and reckless endangerment. He was taken to the Seward jail.

Reach Zaz Hollander at or 257-4317.