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32 injured in Academy school bus accident

POSTED: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 - 3:00pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:54am

UPDATE- Officials at Scott and White Hospital have confirmed the bus driver, 71 year old James Johnson, died at around 4 o'clock this afternoon due to the injuries he sustained in the accident.

BELL COUNTY -- Thirty-eight children on a school bus, 32 people sent to the hospital, two in critical condition because one Lowe's delivery truck didn't stop.

"The truck driver failed to yield at a stop sign, ran completely through the stop sign and struck the school bus on the drivers side," Senior State Trooper Harpin Myers said at the accident scene Tuesday morning.

It was a foggy morning in Bell County as school bus number 7 picked up students to go the Academy schools in Little River when the accident happened at the intersection of FM 93 and Old 95.

Christopher hughes, who lives near the accident site, heard it all.

"I heard a small squealing noise, sounded like brakes and then a big boom," Hughes said.

And the moments that followed he said, were frantic.

"Well when I first got here there was children scattering from the bus, just general mayhem, I mean- people were everywhere, screaming and you know, a lot going on at one time," he said. 

Twenty-nine children were sent to the hospital in ambulances and private vehicles with minor injuries.The truck driver is in stable condition.

But the bus driver and one other, who took the brunt of the hit is in critical condition at Scott and White Hospital in Temple. 

But as the clean-up ends, the investigation just begins.

"There's other conditions we're looking at, we're looking at weather, we're looking at vehicle conditions, looking at what type of equipment was carried on the truck itself, driver conditions, you know, we look at all those factors before determining what type of violations committed," Myers said.  

So far the only charge against the driver is failure to stop at a stop sign, but there could be more as the investigation continues.


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