UNK students on way home after being stranded 24 hours in Pennsylvania storm

Turnpike Stranded

By TODD GOTTULA

UNK Communications

Ten University of Nebraska at Kearney students stranded in a bus this weekend on Interstate 76 in Pennsylvania are expected to return home early Monday.

Marilyn Synek
Marilyn Synek

“We are in Indiana right now and should arrive in Lincoln around 4 a.m.,” Marilyn Synek said Sunday night. “We haven’t decided yet if we’ll finish the drive to Kearney so we can be back in class Monday. We’ve been through a lot, so we’ll just see how tired we are before getting back to Kearney.”

Synek said a number of UNL students have offered to let UNK students stay with them in Lincoln before making the final leg of their return to Kearney.

Synek and nine others in UNK’s Students For Life organization were among those who became stuck Friday night about two hours east of Pittsburgh after a major winter storm slammed the region. The UNK students were travelling with 70 University of Nebraska-Lincoln students and participated in March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Their return to Nebraska began Friday following March for Life, but the winter blizzard and an accident on the I-76 turnpike stranded the students for 24 hours. Volunteer firemen arrived and dug out the two charter buses carrying the UNK and UNL students around 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Students stayed at an elementary school in Bedford, Penn., Saturday night and left at 6:30 a.m. today (Sunday) for their return to Nebraska.

Synek, a UNK sophomore from Kearney and vice president of UNK’s chapter of Students For Life, said everybody in the UNK and UNL travelling party is safe and in good spirits.

“We are ready to be home. And we’re definitely in need of showers. I think that’s what we are most excited about.”

While UNK students were representing the Students For Life organization on campus, the trip was not a university-sponsored event.

In addition to Synek, other UNK students on the trip include: President Caitlyn Schmidt of Lincoln, Secretary Megan Humlicek of Columbus, Jessica Blum of Wahoo, Laura Hawk of Ewing, Collin Bond of Kearney, Emily Spieker of Petersburg, Kendall Schumacher of Lindsay, Claire Swantek of Genoa and Allison Blum of Wahoo.

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