Two people are dead and five others injured after a late night crash in Texas between a pickup truck and a charter school bus. The bus, carrying 25 students and six adults from Brook Hill High School, was returning from a field trip in Florida when the collision occurred.
Witnesses say the pickup truck left its lane and traveled into the path of the bus, striking it head-on. The impact forced the bus off the road.
Fox News is reporting, “The driver of the pickup truck, Jeffrey Dalton Aynesworth, 22, of Rusk, and passenger Payton Joseph Raymond, 24, of Flint, both died at the scene of the wreck on Loop 49 near the U.S. Highway 69 exit just after 4 a.m., Tyler police said.”
In addition to there two fatalities, five people on the bus required hospitalization for their injuries.
“The driver, two adults and two students from Brook Hill School -- were taken to UT Health Tyler for treatment for minor injuries, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.
“The remaining 27 occupants were unharmed, and parents arrived at the crash site to pick up the students.”
“The Brook Hill students were returning from Orlando, Florida, where they had been as part of the school's Spring Potential and Reality Courses (SPARC) week.
“Brook Hill is a private, Christian school in Bullard [Texas] that serves pre-K through 12th-grade students.”
The headmaster of the school, Rod Fletcher responded to Tyler Morning Telegraph’s inquiry about the incident with this statement:
“Moments like this remind us how precious life is. We are thankful that our students, faculty, and families are able to return to their loved ones without any life-threatening injuries.
"At the same time, we are deeply saddened over the lives lost in the accident this morning. Our entire Brook Hill community remains in prayer for their friends and families during this time of grief.
“We are grateful for the love and prayers from our Brook Hill family and the East Texas community for all those affected by the accident.”
Toxicology tests are being conducted to determine whether or not drugs or alcohol played a part in the accident. Results will be released to the public when tests are completed.
We would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to those involved in this tragic incident and pray that they find peace and comfort in the days ahead.