Texas university bus crashes; 1 killed, 15 hurt
ABILENE, Texas (AP) – An Abilene Christian University bus veered off a Texas highway and overturned on Friday, ejecting several of those onboard, killing a 19-year-old student and critically injuring four other people, officials said.
The school-owned bus was carrying 12 agricultural studies students, three faculty members and a faculty member’s wife from Abilene to Medina, where they were going to spend the weekend doing mission work at a children’s home, school spokesman Grant Rampy said. “These were students from our agriculture department, heading to an annual service project to help a children’s home in town,” he told The Associated Press.
The driver, 34-year-old faculty member Michael Nicodemus, lost control as the bus was entering a bend on U.S. 83 near the town of Ballinger, about 50 miles southwest of Abilene, the Texas Department of Public Safety said. The vehicle hit a concrete culvert and did a complete roll, ejecting several passengers in the process, the DPS said. The bus ended up a shredded, metal wreck.
Reid was pronounced dead at the scene, and all 15 others who were onboard were taken to four area hospitals, where four were in critical condition, Rampy said.
Last year, Reid was among 23 ACU agricultural and environmental science majors who made the annual trip to the Medina Children’s Home, where she helped clear land, mow the yard and move in a new family, according to a 2010 story posted on the school website.
In another story from last year, Reid spoke about how a school workshop she attended would help prepare her for a lifetime of Christian service. “I enjoyed the simulation of village and rural settings and all of the hands-on experience,” Reid is quoted as saying the story. “I was able to physically help dig a well which put my dream of working in developing countries into perspective. I learned about the attitude with which I should approach situations and also about the cultures and how to live within them.”
A vigil was held on the 4,700-student campus Friday night, and school officials, including ACU President Phil Schubert, fanned out to the four hospitals where the injured were taken to be with worried family members, Rampy said.
“It’s all hands on deck, all members of ACU administration have fanned out to area hospitals,” Rampy said.