Athens Review, Athens, Texas

September 17, 2013

More than dozen hurt in school bus-truck collision

Associated Press
The Athens Review

LORENA — More than a dozen Central Texas children were hurt when their school bus collided head-on with a dump truck whose driver may have suffered a medical impairment, authorities said Tuesday.

The truck, hauling large boulders, veered into oncoming traffic along an Interstate 35 service road near Lorena on Monday afternoon. The impact injured at least 15 students and the two adults on the bus — a teacher's aide who was thrown from the vehicle and the bus driver who needed to be extricated.

“The bus driver tried to take evasive action, which probably saved a lot of kids because the impact hit right where she was sitting,” Lorena police Chief Tom Dickson said.

Adam Price, a spokesman for Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco, said 15 students and the teacher's aide with the Bruceville-Eddy school district were treated at the hospital and released.

Dickson said their injuries ranged from bloody noses and cuts to leg injuries from being slammed into the seats in front of them.

The bus driver, who wasn't identified, remained hospitalized Tuesday, and school officials said she underwent surgery overnight. The unidentified driver of the dump truck had no apparent injuries and wasn't treated at the scene, but may have later sought medical care, Dickson said.

The bus was returning students home when the collision happened. The students were in a variety of grades ranging from elementary school to high school.

“The Lord smiled on us by not having any sort of fatalities,” Superintendent Richard Kilgore said.

He said counselors were available Tuesday for any students needing to talk about the accident.