10 Dead After Texas Prison Bus Crashes Into A Train

10 Dead After Texas Prison Bus Crashes Into A Train :At least 10 people were killed and five more seriously injured when a Texas bus carrying state prisoners slid off the road near Odessa and hit an oncoming train.

The prison transport bus was traveling from Abilene to El Paso at about 7:30am CT, transporting prisoners to the state jail there, when it slid off the road and hit an oncoming train, killing eight inmates and two corrections officers.

Four more prisoners and one corrections officers are in serious or critical condition at Odessa’s Medical Center hospital, according to a spokeswoman there. She could not provide more detailed information about the patients’ condition. The Texas department of public safety is still investigating what caused the crash, and the deceased and injured have not yet been identified.

“The vehicle carrying the inmates went off an embankment into the path of an oncoming train,” said Sergeant Gary Duesler, of the Ector County sheriff’s office. “And, of course, when it was struck you’re no match for a train.”

When the bus went off the ridge that elevated the roadway, it collided with UPS rail cars, ripping the metal box cars nearly in half and strewing cardboard-wrapped packages along the rocky terrain and alongside the tracks, according to the Odessa American.

The prisoners traveling from Abilene to El Paso would have probably been recently processed into the Texas criminal justice system, according to Leland Maples, the founder of Loved Ones of Prisoners, a Christian missionary group that has worked in the Texas criminal justice system for nearly 30 years.

The prisoners were headed to El Sanchez, a state jail that houses only inmates with sentences up to two years, and with a maximum capacity of 1,100 men.

The bus would have likely carried men starting their time in jail – traveling more than six hours from the John Middleton transfer and intake facility in central Texas to the Rogelio Sanchez State Jail, called the “El Sanchez” facility, according to Maples. Most likely, the men would have received mental and physical evaluations at Middleton before starting their stints in jail at El Sanchez.

El Sanchez lies on one of the outskirts of El Paso, near Texas’ western-most border with the Mexican city of Juarez. The men would have been about two and a half hours into their journey when the crash occurred, near milemarker 100 on Interstate 20.

It’s not known when authorities might release the names of crash victims – authorities keep information about prisoner transports close to the vest to keep buses from being hijacked, Maples said.

Duesler said there were “less than favorable conditions” this morning when the transport slid off the road. There was reportedly freezing rain in the area and heavy fog, reducing visibility to around three miles, Duesler said. Around the time that the bus would have slid off the road, temperatures were in the 30s, continuing chilly weather in the area.

“It’s with a heavy heart that we mourn the loss of those killed and injured this morning in a tragic accident,” Brad Livingston, executive director of the Texas department of criminal justice, said in a statement. “Their loved ones will be in our thoughts and prayers.”

“When you hear of anything that tragic it’s rough,” said Maples. “This is just a horrible, horrible thing.”
Bryon Wilson, 34
Tyler Townsend, 29
Jesus Reyna, 44
Kaleb Wise, 22
Adolfo Ruiz, 32
Michael Stewart, 25
Angel Vasquez, 31
Jeremiah Rodriguez, 35


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