Deadly School Bus Collision causes some to question safety of road design
Posted: 12-29-10Category:A deadly school bus collision in Harris County has caused some people to call for improvements to a road that they consider too dangerous. Here's the story from Paige Hewitt and Cindy Horswell of the Houston Chronicle:
One person was killed and 12 others injured Tuesday night when a Crosby ISD school bus carrying a girls basketball team collided head-on with an SUV on a heavily traveled road near Crosby.
The driver of the sport utility vehicle was killed in the wreck at 8:45 p.m. at FM 2100 at Tall Cedars. Twelve people on the bus nine players of the Crosby High School 9th-grade girls basketball team, the coach, the coach's daughter and the 69-year-old driver - were taken to an area hospital, said Sgt. Glen Wolverton with the Harris County Sheriff's Office.Crosby Superintendent Dr. Keith Moore was returning home after an evening in Humble when he drove up on the accident scene just minutes after it occurred. "It scared me to death when I saw it," he said. He assisted the injured students who were transported to several different hospitals. "I didn’t see any serious injuries. There were busted lips, bumps, bruises, cuts , sore knees and headaches." The accident occurred just after the coach had told the students to start calling parents to come pick them up as they were nearing the school. "I’ve been the superintendent here since June and we had a cheerleader killed in a car wreck on this road the third day after I got here," he said. "This road is extremely dangerous. It needs to be widened. There’s no median, no turning lane." The students were returning from a tournament in Liberty. None of their injuries were thought to be life-threatening, authorities said.
The wreck occurred after a red Ford Mustang in front of a northbound white Ford Explorer slowed or stopped to turn left, Wolverton said. The road is two-lane at that point, and the driver of the SUV moved into oncoming traffic and into the path of the southbound bus, striking it head-on.
Wolverton said the passengers, who were not wearing seat belts, were lucky.
"I'm sure it was pretty scary," he said. "They probably didn't see it coming."
Investigators said they do not know late Tuesday why the SUV driver did not notice the bus coming down the road. They are investigating whether alcohol was involved.
Investigators said they believe the SUV driver did not brake before the collision, Wolverton said. The speed limit on that stretch of the road is 55 mph.
The impact demolished the front end of the SUV. The front end of the bus was crushed.
One Crosby ISD school board member said the road is known to be dangerous.
"What can we do to improve the safety out here?" Joann Crawford asked. "Who next will be killed? FM 2100 is recognized as one of the most dangerous roads in the state of Texas."