NEWS Staff Report
According to SBCISD officials, the bus was carrying students from Riverside Middle School, San Benito Veterans Memorial Academy and San Benito High School. The incident was referred to as a “minor bus accident” that occurred in the vicinity of FM 509.
“Based on initial reports, a vehicle traveling northbound sideswiped the bus traveling on the southbound lane, causing minor damage to the bus,” SBCISD Community Relations Director Celia Longoria said in a statement issued at 9:44 a.m.
Though students were transported by EMS to a local hospital, Longoria stated that there were no injuries reported and referred to the matter as a “precautionary measure for observation.”
“Transportation Department personnel are in the process of notifying the parents of the students involved, according to Transportation Director Rolando Monsevalles,” Longoria further remarked.
She also indicated that the Texas Department of Public Safety troopers are investigating the accident. There are no other details available at this time.
This is the second accident involving an SBCISD bus in nearly as many weeks.
At approximately 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, a bus driver swerved off FM 732, specifically located in the vicinity of Angela G. Leal Elementary School, and into a drainage ditch.
DPS troopers on the scene said the bus driver suddenly swerved off FM 732 about half a mile from the school.
School district officials reported then that there were three individuals on the bus at the time of the accident—the driver, a bus monitor and one student. None of the occupants were reported injured.
Citing information reported by Monsevalles, Longoria issued a press release at 5:33 p.m. on the day of the accident, stating, “The student’s parents have already been notified of the incident.”
In a telephone interview on Tuesday, Oct. 1, Monsevalles said that, as per school district protocol in such cases, the bus driver was to be evaluated and tested to rule out the influence of alcohol or narcotics playing a role in the accident. Such measures, according to Monsevalles, were also implemented by troopers.
“The investigating officers made certain of that because of the circumstances,” Monsevalles said in a previous interview. “When the driver was sent off for evaluation at the hospital the testing was done, and that’s included in what we do. We contract a vendor that provides services for us, that’s our standard policy.”
In addition, Monsevalles said that the driver had recently received his commercial driver’s license and had no prior accidents on his record. “He’s super clean,” Monsevalles has said.
SBCISD officials have not yet confirmed whether the bus driver in the Sept. 30 accident has been cleared.