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A local high school track coach was killed and nearly 20 students were injured Thursday evening when a school bus was involved in a wreck with a commercial tractor-trailer and passenger vehicle. According to local authorities, the wreck occurred shortly before 11:00 pm near Talco, Texas, roughly 25 miles north of Mount Pleasant. The driver of the 18-wheeler was also killed in the crash, and another track coach sustained critical injuries.
At the time of the collision, the bus was transporting the Mount Pleasant High School boy’s track team back home from a track meet in Paris. School district officials have reported that while en route to Mount Pleasant, the 18-wheeler veered into oncoming traffic and directly into the path of the approaching school bus. In an attempt to avoid a head-on collision, the coach driving the school bus diverted the bus into a ditch. The 18-wheeler then collided into the side of the bus, which caused it to roll over.
A passenger vehicle driven by a female assistant track coach that had been following the bus hit the tractor-trailer head on. The assistant track coach died as a result of the collision.
Authorities investigating the accident confirmed the death of the track coach and also reported numerous injuries, including another track coach on the school bus who was transported via helicopter to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler in critical condition. A student on the track team was also airlifted to a local hospital, though his condition is still unknown. In total, 19 of the 30 students aboard the school bus were injured seriously enough to be transported to local hospitals. A second school bus carrying the girl’s track team traveling miles behind was not involved in the collision.
Officials from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Mount Pleasant Independent School District are currently investigating the collision. It is still unclear as to what caused the truck driver to swerve into oncoming traffic.
As a Texas personal injury law firm that knows the devastation of truck accidents and bus accidents all too well, Waltman & Grisham Attorneys at Law hopes that all injured parties involved in this tragedy make a full recovery, and send our condolences to all families. As always, our team of personal injury lawyers is readily available to help injured victims and their families better understand their rights and whether they may have ground to pursue legal action.
While the investigation is still ongoing, the truck driver and trucking company must be closely analyzed to determine whether the crash could and should have been prevented. Similar accidents in the past, particularly wrecks involving commercial vehicles late at night, commonly involve critical trucking regulation and safety violations, such as fatigued drivers that fail to comply with Hours-of-Service rules. Should it be determined that the truck driver or trucking company in this incident failed to uphold their legal duty of obeying laws, complying with regulations, and making safety a priority, they can potentially be held liable for the damages victims and their loved ones suffer. These damages include medical expenses, financial losses, emotional injuries, and pain and suffering, among others.
To discuss a potential case and learn how our award-winning attorneys can help, contact us for a free consultation. Our legal team is available 24/7 to help and immediately begin independent investigations into the incident. We proudly serve residents throughout the state of Texas, and are available to make home and hospital visits.