HILLSBORO, Texas (KWTX) Members of the touring Christian rock band Seventh Day Slumber escaped serious injury when their bus plowed into the rear of a fire truck early Sunday morning on Interstate 35.
(Hill County Emergency Management photo)
The fire truck, with emergency lights flashing, was stopped at the scene of a car fire on the highway when the bus hit it just north of Hillsboro on I-35.
The bus driver and several others aboard were slightly injured.
They were treated at a local hospital and later released.
The driver of the bus said he swerved to miss an 18-wheeler whose driver braked abruptly, Hill County Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Hemrick said.
"For some reason the 18-wheeler decided to brake unexpectedly. The tour bus driver immediately took evasive action trying to steer around the 18-wheeler to avoid the crash and when he went to the right he struck the fire truck,” he said.
A firefighter who was rolling up hose at the rear of the fire truck escaped injury, but the impact of the collision knocked the bus 200 feet.
Seventh Day Slumber lead singer Joseph Rojas said in a Facebook video that the bus came over a hill and the firetruck was right there.
Hemrick says he believes the wreck happened about a quarter of a mile over the hill and the bus driver could have been following the 18-wheeler too close to stop.
Rojas ignited a social media controversy when he posted a video revealing that the Hillsboro tow truck company that towed their bus into town charged $9,000.
Minutes after that post, and after angry reaction from fans, Rojas deleted the post and posted a new video thanking God that all members of his band and others on the bus were not seriously injured, and asking people not express hatred toward the tow truck company.
Corey Woodard, owner of Day and Night Wrecker Service in Hillsboro defended his decision on the charges Monday.
"We're fair people we do this all the time you know I'm not out here trying to get on a Christian rock band, that's the last thing I ever want to do,” he said.
He described the social media attacks as “very unfair.”
"I don't think $9,000 is excessive at all,” he said.
“Actually, I cut the price down because you know I was trying to help these people out."
"I've had people threaten us threaten to vandalize our equipment saying that we're bad people that we don't believe in God things like that and that's just not true."
Rumors that the band was not allowed to get their equipment from their bus at the tow yard were untrue as well, Woodard said.
The band members were en route from Paris to Victoria for a scheduled concert Sunday.
A concert Tuesday night in Artesia, N.M., has been canceled, according to the band’s website.