Two killed, 40 injured in Texas highway crash of school bus, cement truck

By Thomson Reuters Mar 22, 2024 | 8:19 PM

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – Two people, including a young boy, were killed and dozens of others were injured in a Texas highway crash on Friday when a cement truck veered head-on into an school bus carrying more than 40 children on a field trip, authorities said.

The accident, which left the school bus on its side, unfolded around 2 p.m. on State Highway 21 in Bastrop County, Texas, northeast of Austin, the state capital, police and fire officials said.

In addition to one child on the bus pronounced dead at the scene, the wreck killed the male driver of a passenger car that was traveling behind the bus and ended up crashing into one of the two larger vehicles when they collided, police said.

A total of 11 adults and 44 children were aboard the bus, while the two other vehicles each carried only a driver.

Among the survivors, four were flown to hospitals by helicopter in critical condition, and six with serious but less dire injuries were transported by ambulance, said Kevin Parker, a division chief for Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services.

The remainder sustained minor injuries, some of which were also treated at area hospitals, he said.

Investigators were seeking to determine what led the cement truck to swerve into the path of the oncoming school bus. There was no immediate indication the driver was impaired, according to Sergeant Deon Cockrell of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Cockrell said the school bus was taking the children on a field trip when the crash occurred.

Authorities at the scene did not give the children’s ages. But the Austin-American Statesman newspaper reported the youngsters were pre-kindergarten students from the Hays Consolidated Independent School District who were on their way to a local zoo.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)