Kendra Lyn, NBC 5
A driver is dead after running their vehicle head-on into a school bus in Wills Point. Ten students had minor injuries.
A school bus has been involved in a fatal crash in Wills Point.
Texas Department of Public Safety dispatchers said a vehicle and a school bus crashed head-on around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Trooper Jean Dark said the the vehicle drifted over and hit the bus at FM 751 and CR 3804 in Van Zandt County. The driver of the vehicle, 33-year-old Fernando Rios, was killed in the crash
Superintendent Suzanne Blasingamb says there were 36 students listed to be riding the bus. The district is working to confirm how many had been riding the bus at the time of the crash. Blasingamb says the children range from elementary school to junior high students.
Neighbor David Stover heard the crash. He and other drivers rushed to help the kids in the smashed school bus.
“We all started getting the kids off. I went around front to see about the driver. I didn’t see the driver underneath. It was so far under (the bus),” says Stover.
The kids on the bus had minor injuries. DPS says 3 kids and the bus driver were taken to the hospital. Paramedics tell NBC5 they were treated for injuries like a broken nose and cuts.
“Blood on their mouths, like they hit the seat in front of them,” is how neighbor David Stover describes the wounds.
Troopers say Rios had been driving north on 751 when his Camery veered into the bus’s lane. The school bus driver tried to avoid the car and went into the northbound lane. That’s when investigators say Rios corrected back into the northbound land and smashed into the bus head-on.
The driver of a pick-up truck was side-swiped by the bus and the car. All 3 vehicles ended up in the ditch.
“She’s a good bus driver. I don’t’ think there’s anything she could do,” says Stover.
Neighbors say it’s a dangerous stretch of road.
“It’s a 70 miles per hour speed limit on a curve. People don’t follow the curve. There’s been at least 4 fatalities here in the last 30 years,” says Stover.
The superintendent says there are counselors at the schools talking with the kids who survived the crash.
NBC 5's Greg Janda contributed to an earlier version of this report.