ENNIS, Texas - Thick fog may have contributed to a fatal school bus accident in Ellis County that left a pickup truck driver dead and three students injured.
DPS officials say an Ennis school bus collided with a Ford pickup truck on eastbound Highway 34 between Novy Road and Interstate 34 around 7:30 a.m. Friday morning.
Three high school-aged students were on the bus at the time of the crash. The driver of the pickup truck had to be extracted. He later died at a hospital.
Gerardo Flores and his 15-year-old sister, Klaudia, were two of the students injured.
“The bus driver tried to see if she could go, but cars would just zoom by,” said Gerardo describing the moments before the crash. “She asked if we could see anything, but we couldn't see anything. We didn't for a while so she said she was going to go."
The 16-year-old says his face hit a seat, pushing back his front teeth. But his sister's tooth was ripped out to the gum, requiring oral surgery.
“I heard the bus driver scream, ‘Get off the bus!’” Gerardo said.
As they were all trying to figure out what happened, DPS says another SUV blinded by the fog crashed into them.
Michelle Byrd, who was driving behind the SUV with her three kids inside, narrowly avoided the pileup.
“You could hear crashes happening all around you. We heard crashes way to the east and we heard crashes back there,” said Byrd. “It’s like it just wouldn’t stop. We just came up on everything so quickly. I don’t think anybody had much time to react.”
There were three other multi-vehicle crashes after the initial one. One 18-wheeler slammed on its brakes to avoid the crash, jackknifed and flipped.
No one was hurt in any of the secondary crashes. The highway was shut down for several hours after the crash.
DPS says the crash investigation is still ongoing and it’s too early to say who's at fault. Officers urge drivers to take what happened as a reminder to slow down and increase your following distance when it’s foggy.