Industrial school bus struck by car, students uninjured
By Beth Foley
Industrial ISD students headed home from school on Bus 101 were jolted out of boredom Tuesday afternoon when a car lost control and skidded along the side of the bus.
According to Texas Dept. of Public Safety Trooper Ruben San Miguel, the DPS Public Information Officer in Victoria, the bus was traveling north on FM 234 toward Highway 59 when a southbound 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage, driven by Randall Stone, struck the bus.
“For reasons still under investigation, the car struck the bus on the left side, went down the whole side, and took off the (outer rear) wheel on the bus,” San Miguel said.
Bus driver Lupe Lopez pulled onto the shoulder of the road and stopped several yards north of the point of impact, while the car continued south, struck a shallow ditch on the east side of the road and drove through a barbed wire fence before coming to a stop. First responders from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, DPS, and Jackson County ESD #3 responded to the scene.
According to San Miguel and a post on the Industrial ISD home page, no one on the bus was injured. Students were transferred to another bus and taken home.
However, first responders attended to Stone, who was flown by PHI Air Medical helicopter to Hermann Memorial Hospital with what San Miguel described as “serious injuries.” The extent of his injuries were unknown.
Industrial ISD Superintendent Clark Motley said he rushed to the accident location as soon as he heard about it, and that Maintenance Director Billy Barr had already sent a replacement bus to the scene to get students home.
“I had no idea what happened in the accident,” Motley said. “I just wanted to make sure our kids and our driver were okay.”
When it was determined that everyone was alright, the next priority was alerting parents, he said.
“The bus driver (Lopez) was great,” Motley said. “He had a list of the kids and contacts so we were able to clear the kids and check them off as they got off the bus.”
Students seemed to take the excitement in stride, he said.
“They were in good spirits,” Motley said. “They were glad they didn’t have to get out in the cold.”
Motley said Tuesday afternoon that he wasn’t sure of the extent of damage to the bus, beyond the visible scrapes along the side and the damaged wheel.
Any charges that may be filed will be determined by the results of the ongoing investigation, San Miguel said.