Two students at a Houston high school were killed after a bus flew off a highway Tuesday morning, crashing to the ground below. Two other students and the bus driver were also injured.
The Houston Intermediate School District has identified the bus driver as Luisa Pacheco. She is said to be in stable condition, KHOU-TV reports. The conditions of the two other students were not immediately available.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Bus Was Struck by Another Car Before It Lost Control
The bus was driving on the 610 Loop highway at about 7 a.m. when it was struck by a car. Bus driver Louisa Pacheco lost control, sending the bus through a guardrail and off the highway, down to the road below, the school district said.
A Houston Police spokesman, Victor Senties, told the Houston Chronicle that the driver of the other car, a Buick LaSabre, thought another vehicle was drifting into her lane. She then veered away from that car and hit the side of the bus. Pacheco, the bus driver, then over-corrected and the bus went off the highway overpass, police said.
Witnesses told KHOU-TV that the bus nose-dived and then flipped before crashing onto its side.
2. The Bus Driver Has a Clean Driving Record
The Houston Intermediate School District said Louisa Pacheco has been a bus driver in the district for three years and has a clean driving record.
According to her Facebook page, Pacheco is a Houston resident originally from Mexico.
3. The Students Killed in the Crash Have Not Been Identified Yet
The school district and police have not yet identified the students killed in the crash.
The district said a 17-year-old REACH Charter High School student was pronounced dead at the scene and a 14-year-old Furr High School student died at Memorial Hermann Hospital. The two high schools share a campus.
4. The Driver of the Car That Struck the School Bus Is a Houston Teacher
The driver of the Buick LaSabre involved in the crash has also not been identified. The school district said she is a local teacher.
Police told the Houston Chronicle that she has been detained, but not charged.
5. The Bus Was Purchased in 2008 & Was Equipped With Lap Belts for Students
According to the school district, the bus was purchased in 2008 and underwent an inspection in June. The bus is equipped with lap belts for students.
The district said the bus also has cameras, which will be used in the investigation.