According to a report, at minimum 10 people were killed today when a Texas prison bus was hit by a train. According to Mark Donaldson, Sheriff for Ector County, the bus was carrying state prisoners. After hitting an icy overpass in West Texas, the bus slid down an embankment where it ultimately collided with a passing train.
Weather conditions in West Texas have been brutal. The overpass where the accident occurred on Interstate 20 was extremely slick this morning, as stated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. With bad conditions just west of Odessa, the bus left the roadway. After going down the embankment, the bus landed on its side amid extensive damage to both undercarriage and top.
In an official statement from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, killed in the horrendous accident were eight state prisoners and two correctional officers. In addition, Donaldson confirmed that five people were injured and taken to a local hospital for treatment. As to the severity of the injuries, a Medical Center Hospital spokesperson declined to comment.
Jason Clark, spokesman with the Justice Department added that in all, 12 prisoners along with three correctional officers were on the bus going from the Middleton prison in Abilene to El Paso where the Sanchez prison is located.
Brad Livingston, executive director for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice released a statement saying that everyone who lost their life or experienced injuries in this horrific accident is being mourned. He stated that family members and friends of those who died and were injured are being thought about and prayed for.
The Union Pacific train was hauling freight and shortly after being hit by the prison bus, it came to a stop. There were only two employees on the train, neither who had injuries. Tan Parker, state representative was responsible for notifying the Texas House. Following notification, a moment of silence was held.