Two female students died after a school bus was hit by another car driven by a district teacher and plunged off an overpass in Houston Tuesday. Two students were killed and three others were seriously injured, police and school officials said.
A 17-year-old female student died at the scene while a 14-year-old girl died at a nearby hospital, according to the Houston Independent School District. The driver, a female student and a male student are currently hospitalized. The names of the students have not been released, Associated Press reports.
District officials stated that the bus was carrying four students and was in route to Furr High School when the accident happened around 7 a.m., according to Washington Post. The people on the bus were students at Furr High School or REACH Charter High School, which is on Furr’s campus.
Superintendent Terry Grier said in a statement that the community is “deeply saddened by this tragedy and the loss of one of our students.” “I ask all of the HISD community to join me in praying for all of those involved,” Grier said.
Police spokesman Victor Senties said investigators think the front driver’s side of the bus was struck by the car. The car reportedly swerved to avoid another vehicle during rush-hour traffic.
“The impact caused the school bus to veer to the right and strike the guardrail,” the Houston Police Department said in a statement Tuesday. Then, it fell from the overpass onto Telephone Road. The guardrails above where the bus landed shows evidence of the accident.
A teacher who works in the district was driving the car that hit the bus. Officials would not say where she worked, but said that she does not work on the campus where the victims went to school. Senties said that it is too soon to know if charges will be filed in the accident.
School buses are one of the safest methods of transportation for students. Fatalities are rare, according to Washington Post. Six school bus passengers and five bus drivers were killed in accidents in 2013, according to the most recent data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And four students were killed in bus crashes each year from 2000 to 2012.