"2 Houston students die after rush-hour collision between bus, teacher’s car" AP September 16, 2015
HOUSTON — A school bus plunged off a highway overpass in Houston after being hit by a car driven by a teacher Tuesday, killing two students and seriously injuring three other people, local officials said.
A 17-year-old female student died at the scene and a 14-year-old girl died at a hospital, according to the Houston Independent School District. The driver and the other passengers on the bus — a male student and a female student — are hospitalized.
The names of the students haven’t been released.
‘‘We are deeply saddened by this tragedy,’’ Superintendent Terry Grier said in a statement. ‘‘I ask all of the HISD community to join me in praying for all of those involved.’’
Police spokesman Victor Senties said investigators believe a car struck the front driver’s side of the bus after swerving to avoid another vehicle during morning rush-hour traffic. The bus then lurched to the right, hit a guardrail, and toppled to the road below, he said.
The car that hit the bus was being driven by a teacher in the district. She also was injured in the accident, according to district officials, who said she doesn’t teach on the campus attended by the victims.
Senties said it’s too early to determine whether any charges will be filed in the accident.
The students were being transported to Furr High School, which also operates a charter school; the girls who died each attended one of those schools, officials said.
The bus, purchased new in 2008, was equipped with lap belts. It wasn’t immediately clear whether students were wearing the lap belts. Nathan Graf, the district’s general manager for transportation, said it’s optional for students to wear them because enforcing their use is too difficult for drivers.