by Jen Kastner
CENTERVILLE, TX- On Sunday morning, an ECISD school bus collided with a fire truck, sending several students and a firefighter to area hospitals.
Horticulture students from Permian High School and Odessa High School were on their way home from their annual spring trip.
At approximately 9 a.m., the school bus collided with a Leona Volunteer Fire Department truck in Centerville, Texas which is about a seven hour drive southeast of Midland-Odessa. That fire truck was on the way to a fire.
It happened as the bus was directed by police to change lanes due to a large grass fire in the area. Trooper Jimmy Morgan with DPS in Bryan, TX tells says a Leona Volunteer Fire Department truck was responding to a fire that two other fire trucks were already at. The driver of the third truck tried to make a U-turn on the highway to join the other two trucks, but the driver didn't notice the ECISD school bus coming up alongside it. The truck was then struck by the school bus.
42 students along with their class sponsors and the bus driver were onboard. One firefighter and 12 students were sent to area hospitals. Fortunately, none of their injuries were serious.
All the uninjured kids were taken to a high school in Centerville. Centerville ISD Superintendent Cathy Nicols tells us, "When I heard it, it really scared me. I didn't know what I was facing when I came up to the school grounds." Centerville ISD says several of the kids were still in fear over what happened.
"They were scared and we had people come in and our counselor came in and visited with them and we tried our best to put them at ease and I think we were successful," Nicols said.
All students taken to the hospital have since been discharged.
On Sunday night, an Ector County ISD bus met the whole group in the Metroplex area and started driving them back home. They are scheduled to arrive in Odessa at approximately 1 a.m. on Monday.