A truck heading in the wrong direction on a Texas highway collided into a charter motorcoach bus carrying Andrew High School band members. Three people were killed.
Sgt. Justin Baker, a spokesman with Texas State Patrol, stated that a Ford truck, later identified by local news as driven by Nathan Paul Haile, 59, collied into the charter bus on Nov. 19 around 4:45 p.m. local time. The vehicle was reportedly traveling the wrong way. The Andrew ISD students were headed toward a high school football playoff game against Springtown in Big Spring, located about 40 miles northeast of Midland, Texas.
The truck also reportedly hit a second charter bus, causing minor damage, then caught fire. The driver of the F-350 was pronounced dead at the scene. Bus driver Marc Boswell, 69, and band director Darin Johns, 53, were killed and two students were hospitalized in critical but stable condition. Boswell was reportedly wearing his seatbelt. Eleven other students were transported to a hospital and treated for non-incapacitating injuries. The 12 remaining students on board were not injured.
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“It’s a tragic day,” Dr. Bobby Azam, superintendent at Andrews ISD, stated during a press conference the evening of the crash. “We need a lot [of] support tonight. We need to get kids home. We need prayer. We’ll get through tonight, but the tough times are in the days to come.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott stated that the Texas Department of Public Safety is working with local officials to investigate the accident. The state is also ready to provide additional support as needed to Andrews ISD, the community of Big Spring where the crash took place, and those affected by the tragedy. “Our hearts go out to those who were injured or lost their lives in the bus crash in Big Spring, and we grieve for the families of those taken too soon,” Abbott stated.
According to data collected by School Transportation News, this is at least the fifth student transportation driver to die this year while behind the wheel.
Editor’s Note: The originally published article incorrectly stated in the headline the bus was a school bus.