Nearly three dozen students were injured when two buses from the Crowley Independent School District collided Monday afternoon in southwest Fort Worth.
The Fort Worth Fire Department reported the crash about 3:40 p.m. near the intersection of Summer Creek Drive and Summer Park Drive, where one bus rear-ended another.
A fire department spokesperson said 70 students were on the two buses, and 31 students, along with both bus drivers, were taken to local hospitals, the majority to Cook Children's Medical Center and John Peter Smith Hospital, for treatment of minor injuries including stitches and whiplash symptoms.
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Crowley ISD Buses Crash; Students Injured
Spencer Smith, 14, was the last student to be discharged from the Cook Children’s Emergency Department, around 9:30 p.m. His older brother pushed Spencer to the family car in a wheelchair. The seventh grader suffered a broken nose, whiplash and a dislocated ankle.
Spencer Smith’s mother, Shonda, first learned of Monday’s crash when her son called from his cell phone.
She arrived to find him strapped to a back board, lying flat on the ground.
“I went up there and checked it out, because I wasn’t going to be calm until I checked it out for myself,” Shonda Smith told NBC 5.
The students on the buses were seventh and eighth graders from Summer Creek Middle School, the fire department said.
Kenneth Crespo, a seventh grader, was aboard the bus that rear-ended the other.
“After the crash everybody was worried,” Crespo told NBC 5, with his worried mother looking on. “Some people were bleeding. Everybody was shocked.”
Investigators said the crash happened when the first bus driver stopped to address a situation on the bus, and the second bus crested a hill and was unable to stop before colliding into the first bus.
Both buses sustained significant damage, and hazmat crews responded to clean the crash site.
Government safety documents reviewed by NBC 5 Investigates found the bus company, Durham School Services, has had 5,521 inspections by the U.S. Department of Transportation in the past two years.
Of those, 1,399 violations were found.
The company reported 328 crashes during the same time period.
Durham, the second-largest school bus company in the country, has 13,688 buses and employs 13,350 drivers. It carries about 1 million student passengers every day.
Inspectors found some violations so serious, the employees were not allowed to continue driving in 3.3 percent of the cases. That figure compares to a national average of 5.5 percent.
NBC 5's Scott Gordon contributed to this report.