Reader’s Note: This story is satirical and was published in a spoof issue.
America is mourning the loss of three of its astronauts after their Mount Vernon shuttle bus burst into flames during re-entry to the Foxhall campus Wednesday evening.
Commander Stephen Bossy, pilot Balls F. Steele and mission specialist Janet Tokenwomen were taking the craft to speak to Mount Vernon students on how attending GW by no means contributed to their acceptance into the astronaut core. Accident investigators reported that flames erupted from the vehicle’s engine and later engulfed the entire shuttle.
They also said the driver, who has yet to be identified, inadvertently locked the only door to the bus as he soiled himself and fled the blaze, trapping the astronauts inside. Nearby students were unaware of the accident and unable to respond since they were all distracted by their iPods at the time.
The accident bears a strong similarity to a Mount Vernon shuttle bus fire last semester, an incident in which the driver also ran off the bus screaming frantically as passengers remained inside.
“This is truly a sad day for all, especially the school lawyers who will need to fend of the myriad of lawsuits I am about to have to deal with,” said GW President Sucha Jack Troll, who referred to himself as Zortron-5 during an interview after he said the thought of “astronauts zipping around in their dingbats” gave him a “futuristic, space-like feel.”
Accident investigators from the U.S. Department of Transportation said they could not pinpoint a cause for the crash, but added that they had a few leads.
“I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this tragedy was caused by the fact that these buses were built in the former Yugoslavia in 1981 and have not seen maintenance since then,” said Bureaucrat No. 29,002, a crash investigator with the DOT. “And the fact that there’s only one exit for 20 passengers probably didn’t help.”
In fact, one investigator was so horrified that students were forced to ride on what he called “suicide machines” that he offered Mount Vernon residents waiting for a shuttle to Foggy Bottom a ride in his car.
The rest of the shuttle fleet has been taken out of service until the cause of the fire is determined. The University said it plans to offer donkey-pulled carts to ferry students between the two campuses.
“We will not rest until the Mount Vernon shuttle service is made safe again, as students’ safety is our primary concern,” said Mackin’ It, a top GW official. “Until then, these sleek, state-of-the-art donkeys will provide the GW community with the help they need.”