Safety

Report: School Bus Driver in Fatal Texas Crash Properly Stopped at Tracks

Nicole Schlosser
Posted on February 12, 2019

ATHENS, Texas — The crash report released by police on the Jan. 25 collision between a freight train and a school bus that killed one student finds that the bus driver stopped before the railroad crossing, KETK reports.

The report from the Athens Police Department states that the bus driver, John Stevens, 78, stopped right before the tracks as state law requires, and then pulled forward, according to the news source. At that point, as SBF previously reported, the bus was struck on its left side by a Union Pacific train, became lodged onto the locomotive, and then the bus and train traveled about one-quarter of a mile down the railroad tracks. One student, Christopher Bonilla, 13, was killed, and another student, Joselyne Torres, 9, was critically injured. The bus driver suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The train had driven around a curve, which made it difficult to see, according to KETK.

Police told the news source that the bus hit several signs and railroad gates as it was being pushed down the tracks, causing further damage.

The crash report is being sent to the Henderson County District Attorney, KETK reports, and it is unclear whether charges will be filed.

Related Topics: fatalities, legal issues, railroad crossing, school bus crash, Texas

Nicole Schlosser Executive Editor
Comments ( 3 )
  • Robert Crump

     | about 6 months ago

    After seeing the view, there is no excuse for this accident. In Missouri, we are required to stop, open drivers window and bus entry door, LISTEN for the train, and LOOK both ways TWO times before preceding. If that procedure had been used, this never would have happened

  • See all comments
More Stories
Video

School Bus Songs: ‘Stop When the Arm is Out’

Michigan City (Ind.) Area Schools’ transportation department, also known as the “stop-arm singers,” recreate The Supremes’ famous “Stop in the Name of Love” — urging motorists to think twice before illegally passing a stopped school bus.

Heidi King’s last day as acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be Aug. 31. Photo courtesy NHTSA
News

NHTSA Acting Administrator to Step Down

Heidi King’s last day as acting administrator of the regulatory agency will be Aug. 31. She will be replaced by James Owens, the U.S. DOT’s deputy general counsel.

Video

School Bus Songs: 'Washboard Road'

Jay Heilman, a bus driver with Pasco County (Fla.) Schools, is joined by other members of the district’s transportation staff as he details the trials and triumphs of pupil transportation in his own catchy version of Lil Nas X's “Old Town Road” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus.

File photo courtesy School Bus Safety Co.
Article

Shake-Ups Prompt a Closer Look at Safety

Although we all agree that the motoring public needs to be more cautious, bus drivers can also help mitigate the number of dangerous incidents by following safe and consistent loading and unloading practices.

When unloading, do not step off the bus before sticking out the hand-held stop sign and checking both directions alongside the bus for hazards.
Photo

PHOTOS: California Loading, Unloading Safety

Sabine Konrad, driver instructor for Visalia Unified School District, demonstrates some key steps designed to boost safety when crossing students in the loading and unloading process use by the state.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!