UPDATED 6:40 p.m., Sept. 15: Two students were killed, and two students and their bus driver were seriously injured this morning when an HISD school bus crashed at the 610 Loop and Telephone Road.
The bus was transporting four students to Furr High School when it was hit by another vehicle on Loop 610 around 7 a.m. The bus then left the freeway and crashed onto Telephone Road.
A 17-year-old junior at REACH Charter High School was pronounced dead at the scene. A 14-year-old freshman at Furr High School was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where she also was pronounced dead.
Furr High School is home to REACH Charter High School.
The two remaining students, both juniors who attend REACH, and the bus driver were taken to hospitals where they are being treated for serious injuries. Further information about their conditions is not available at this time.
The other vehicle was driven by an HISD teacher.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy,” said HISD Superintendent Terry Grier. “I ask all of the HISD community to join me in praying for all of those involved.”
The accident is under investigation by the Houston Police Department with assistance from HISD Police.
“This is an incredibly sad day for HISD, and our hearts are heavy as we think about these four students and their families,” HISD Board of Education President Rhonda Skillern-Jones said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to them, as well as our entire HISD family.”
The bus driver has been with HISD for about three years and has a clean driving record. Records show that the bus last underwent a maintenance inspection in July. The bus was purchased new in 2008 and was equipped with lap belts for students. The bus was also equipped with seven security cameras. Footage from those cameras is being reviewed as part of the ongoing investigation.
HISD has about 950 buses on the road each day, transporting 34,000 students.
“This news is simply devastating — to us, and to the close-knit communities of Furr and REACH Charter high schools,” said Trustee Juliet Stipeche, whose district includes the two schools. “We offer our deepest condolences to all involved, and ask the Houston community to come together and offer prayers and support for the students, bus driver, and families during this time. We also offer our deepest sympathy and condolences for the loss of our two beautiful students. May they rest in peace.”