According to information from the Karnes County Sheriff's Office and DPS, seven students were riding a Karnes City ISD school bus when the accident happened at a location one tenth of a mile south of the intersection of State Highway 80 and FM 81.
According to DPS Trooper Steve Bailey, who investigated the accident, the bus and and an 18-wheeler were traveling southbound on the highway and a pickup truck was traveling northbound when the crash happened.
The 18-wheeler, which was hauling gravel, had just passed the school bus when for for unexplained reasons a gray Ford F-150 pickup veered into the oncoming lane, colliding with the truck and then was struck a second time by the school bus.
Christopher Atkins, 19, was driving the pickup and Ethan Moses, 31, was a passenger in the pickup. Both men are from Louisiana. Atkins told emergency workers at the scene that he had no recollection of anything that happened after turning onto the highway in Karnes City.
Adel Garcia, 53, of San Antonio, was driving the 18-wheeler when the crash happened. He was not seriously injured in the crash.
The driver of the school bus, Mary Nixon, 57, of Karnes City, and the seven students only received minor injuries in the crash. The students and bus driver were transported by another school bus to Otto Kaiser Memorial Hospital where they were treated and released by 9:30 a.m.
Atkins and Moses were critically injured with possible internal injuries. The men were extracted from the pickup by Karnes City volunteer firefighters operating the Rescue 1 emergency response truck. Both men were airlifted from the scene of the crash to San Antonio Military Medical Center.
Karnes City ISD Superintendent Jeanette Winn said that six of the children were elementary school students and one was a junior high school student.
“A couple of students incurred minor bumps and bruises,” Winn said. “We are grateful to the staff of Otto Kaiser Memorial Hospital for their professionalism and genuine concern in caring for each of the students.”
The highway was closed for a short time until the accident scene could be cleared.
Trooper Bailey wants to remind drivers to slow down and use caution at all times, especially around school buses. He wants the public to especially be aware to stop for school buses whenever the red lights are flashing on the side of the bus.
“I have written numerous citations for this violation,” Bailey said. “A fine is up to $2,000 for this type of violation.”
“The oil and gas have been there for millions of years, another 10 minutes of taking our time will not hurt anyone,” Bailey stressed.