TYLER, Texas—Police say two men have died after their pickup truck collided in East Texas with a charter bus carrying students returning from Florida.
Tyler police say five occupants of the bus—the driver, two other adults, and two students—were taken to a hospital after sustaining minor injuries in the head-on crash just after 4 a.m. on March 10.
Police say witness accounts indicate the eastbound truck veered into the westbound lane, striking the bus, which went off the roadway.
Tyler police are responding to a fatal crash involving a truck and a bus carrying Brook Hill students. Here's what we know so far: https://bit.ly/2XMpEeC
Posted by KLTV 7 on Sunday, 10 March 2019
Police say 32 people were on the bus, including six adults and 25 students. The students from The Brook Hill School near Tyler were returning from Orlando. The private Christian school serves students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.
Police say the pickup’s driver was 22-year-old Jeffrey Dalton Aynesworth of Rusk. The passenger was 24-year-old Payton Joseph Raymond of Flint.
Five from the bus—the driver, two adults, and two students were taken to the hospital for minor injuries, reported East Texas Matters. Parents arrived on the scene to pick up their children.
In a message to the “Brook Hill Families” on Facebook, the Brook Hill school informed the community about the accident and appreciated the driver for controlling the bus and saving lives.
“Early this morning there was a serious accident involving one of our SPARC groups returning from Orlando, Florida. No students, faculty or chaperones sustained life-threatening injuries, however,r several students and adults sustained minor injuries. Coach Jordan Price is in the hospital under observation for a concussion along with the bus driver. The incident occurred on Loop 49 near HWY 69 at about 4:00 am.
“We are very thankful for God’s protection and ask that you be in prayer for all involved, including the bus driver who did an amazing job controlling the bus and protecting our students and faculty.
“We also ask that you be in prayer for the families of the passengers in the other vehicle who did not survive the crash,” the school said in the post.
Dear Brook Hill Families,Early this morning there was a serious accident involving one of our SPARC groups returning…
Rod Fletcher, head of The Brook Hill School, also released a statement, thankful that lives were saved.
“Moments like this remind us how precious life is. We are thankful that our students, faculty, and families are able to return to their loved ones without any life-threatening injuries. At the same time, we are deeply saddened over the lives lost in the accident this morning. Our entire Brook Hill community remains in prayer for their friends and families during this time of grief. We are grateful for the love and prayers from our Brook Hill family and the East Texas community for all those affected by the accident,” he said according to CBS DFW.
Investigators are working with the Eco Bus Company to retrieve the incident’s video from the front windshield of the bus.
Tyler Police Department officers are responding to a head-on collision involving a truck and a bus carrying Brook Hill School students.
No students were killed in the crash police say, but fatalities were confirmed in the other vehicle involved: https://t.co/UXJYKgpUVO pic.twitter.com/Xcx8ciRqkb
— KLTV 7 (@KLTV7) March 10, 2019
“It is confirmed that Echo Transportation has been involved in an accident yesterday morning at approximately 4.15 AM near Tyler Texas. Students were returning from Orlando from a Spring Break trip,” Kim Tubbs, Vice President of Business Development for Echo Transportation said in a statement, according to KLTV.
“At this time we are doing everything we can, we are working with local, state and federal officials through the investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with all involved. The safety and well being of those impacted is our first priority,” he said.
— Dallas Informer (@Dallasinformer) March 10, 2019
The Associated Press contributed to this report.