A 13-year-old schoolboy died after a train passed on a bus at a railroad crossing without traffic lights or gates in a small town in eastern Texas.The accident occurred around 4 pm in Athens, while the bus driver took the students home. There were three people on the bus at the time of the accident: the driver and two students.
The cause of the collision is still unclear, but the authorities questioned the bus driver, who was found outside the bus when the first responders arrived at the scene just three minutes after the call. On Saturday, the Athens Police Department said the bus had initially stopped and then crossed the track in front of the train.
Athens police chief Buddy Hill said the 13-year-old boy, Christopher Bonilla, was found dead outside the bus, which had been pushed a quarter of a kilometer off the Union Pacific train. Joselyne Torres, a 9-year-old girl, was taken off the bus and flown to the Dallas Children's Hospital in critical condition.
Torres was operated on and was in a stable state on Saturday, police said.
The 78-year-old bus driver was taken to the hospital in a stable state. He was identified Saturday as John Stevens.
"It is with great sadness that we confirm that one of our precious middle school students lost their lives today when a district school bus collided with a train in Athens," said the school district in a statement. communicated.
Officials said there were no warning lights for trains, bells or gates going down to keep vehicles off the track. There are flashing lights and a sign indicating a level crossing on the road.
"A witness to the accident said he heard the horn of the train approaching the intersection," police said on Saturday.
The engineer and the freight train crew were not injured.
The accident was the second involving a Union Pacific train in Texas this month. A freight train derailed at Aubrey, about 80 km north of Dallas, on January 9.