Ten Dead In Texas Crash Involving Bus Carrying Prisoners

Wednesday, January 14th 2015, 12:23 pm
By: News 9

A bus carrying 12 prisoners and three corrections officers skidded off an icy highway in West Texas, fell from an overpass, and crashed onto train tracks below, leaving ten people dead.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says of the 10 people killed, eight were inmates and two were corrections officers. The department says one staff member and four prisoners were transported to Medical Center Hospital in Odessa.

Hospital officials tell CBS affiliate KOSA that four of those injured are in critical condition.

Sgt. Elizabeth Barney with the Texas Department of Public Safety says the transport bus went off an overpass, landed on a railway and was struck by a train.

The bus was a Texas Department of Criminal Justice vehicle. According to a release from the department, the bus left the Middleton Unit in Abilene at approximately 7:30 a.m. Wednesday for the Sanchez Unit in El Paso.

"Preliminary information is the vehicle left the roadway near mile marker 100 on Interstate 20 and collided with a train," the release says, adding the investigation into the accident is ongoing.

Brad Livingson, Executive Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, issued a statement saying, "It's with a heavy heart that we mourn the loss of those killed and injured this morning in a tragic accident. Their loved ones will be in our thoughts and prayers."

KOSA reports a spokesperson for the Union Pacific Railroad Co. says a Union Pacific train was involved in the crash and the company is still assessing the damage. He said there were no injuries to the train crew.