Students, Coaches Injured In Bus-Truck Crash Out Of Hospital

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WACO (October 18, 2013)—A bus crash more than eight decades ago along the route of the modern day interstate led to major changes in safety laws.

On Jan. 22, 1927, Baylor University basketball coach Ralph Wolf and 21 other players, coaches and students were en route from Waco to Austin to play the University of Texas when a train struck their bus.Ten of the 22 aboard the bus were killed.

A driving rainstorm hampered the charter bus driver's vision as he approached a railroad crossing on what was then State Highway 2 and by the time he saw the eastbound International and Great Northern Railroad train, it was too late. The crossing had no overpass, no flashing railroad crossing arms and no roadway lights.The driver tried to turn the bus off the tracks but a rain-slicked road made that impossible.

The train slammed into the rear right-hand side of the bus.

In the aftermath of the crash, the Texas Legislature, immediately passed a bill requiring automatic safety devices at all railroad crossings and later approved legislation that eliminated grade crossings and the construction of overpasses at crossings on state highways.

When U.S. Highway 81 was built through Round Rock eight years later, the Texas Highway Department built the first railroad overpass in Texas.The crash also was the catalyst for new safety regulations.School buses across the U.S. and buses have been required ever since to stop at all railroad crossings before proceeding.

James Clyde "Abe" Kelly, William Winchester, W.E. Murray, Merle Dudley, Sam Dillow, Jack Castellaw, L.R. "Ivey" Foster, Bob Hailey, R.L. Hannah and James Walker are now honored every year during Baylor’s Homecoming as the “Immortal Ten.” (Paul J. Gately)


 

TROY (October 18, 2013)—The Troy Middle School football players and coaches who were injured Thursday night when the bus in which they were riding was struck by an 18-wheeler on the southbound Interstate 35 access road in Troy were all out of the hospital Friday, Troy ISD Superintendent Neil Jeter said.

Jeter said nine students and two coaches were taken to Scott & White Hospital in Temple after the crash, which occurred at around 9 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of the I-35 frontage road and Main Street in Troy.

Later Friday, however, Troy Police Chief Keith Reed said a total of 13 victims were transported, four of whom went to Scott & White and nine of whom went to McLane Children’s Scott & White.

The most seriously injured victim was the coach who was driving the bus, Reed said.

Benny Carr was thrown out the door of the bus and suffered possible broken ribs, a possible broken vertebra and a possible cracked hip and sternum, Reed said.

All of the victims are now out of the hospital, Reed said.

Jeter said earlier Friday that some of the students were back in class.

The speed limit in the area of the intersection is 30 miles per hour and Reed said he thinks that’s why the injuries were not more severe.

The driver of the 18-wheeler was cited at the scene for disregarding a flashing red light at the intersection, which is a four-way stop.

Five ambulances were dispatched to the accident scene Thursday night and a triage area was set up at a nearby church where students were checked out and treated.

The father of two of the students on the bus, one of whom suffered a head injury, told News 10 in a phone interview that the bus was carrying the middle school players home from a game in Salado.

About 35 people were aboard the bus, police said.

It was the second accident involving a school bus along the interstate in a month.

On Sept. 16, a dump-truck veered into the path of a Bruceville-Eddy school bus on the southbound I-35 access road.

The head-on collision left the woman who was driving the bus trapped in the wreckage.

An adult aide who was thrown from the bus and six injured children who were taken by ambulance to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center and were treated and later released.

In all, Hillcrest said it treated 15 students after the crash, nine of whom were driven to the hospital by parents.

About 50 students, ranging from elementary school to high school age, were on the bus at the time of the collision, which happened after the driver of the dump truck lost control of the vehicle, authorities said.

The dump truck driver wasn’t injured.


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