Staff and Wire Reports
SHERMAN, Texas - A charter bus ran off a highway overpass near Sherman, Texas and crashed onto its side on a roadway below, killing 15 people.
About two dozen people are in area hospitals.
Authorities said the bus carrying 55 people to a church event in Missouri had an illegal tire. Officials said a retreaded tire blew on the bus causing it to smash into a gaurdrail and tip over.
"We have verified that this was a recapped tire and it was placed incorrectly in the steer axel of the bus. This was the only recapped tire of the ten on the bus," said NTSB Board Member Debbie Hersman.
The bus company, Angel Tours of Houston, was not authorized to cross state lines.
And investigators said even though the accident happened in Texas, it was clear the bus was headed out of state.
Police said 12 people died at the scene. Another 3 died at a Dallas hospital, a Parkland Memorial Hospital spokesman said.
The crash happened just after midnight.
Northbound traffic on the highway was shut down as ambulances and helicopters used the roadway and median to ferry the injured to hospitals.
Sherman is near the Oklahoma and Texas border.