NC Online NewsAndrea Sturdivant|Saturday May 14, 2016


A damaged OGA Charters bus is hauled away after a fatal rollover on Saturday, May 14, 2016, south of the Dimmit-Webb County line on U.S. 83 North in Texas. Danny Zaragoza / Laredo Morning Times

LAREDO, TX- Saturday a charter bus was en route to a casino that crashed in miles of South Texas, killing eight people and hurting 44 others in a one-vehicle rollover, authorities said.

On U.S. Highway 83 about 46 miles north of Laredo seven people died at the scene and another person died later at a Laredo hospital, Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Conrad Hein said.

“The operator of the bus lost control and rolled over, Everything’s real exploratory right now, Hein said.”

The operator of the bus was among the survivors of the crash.  His name and the names of travelers were not directly available, Hein said.

The trooper announced it was storming Saturday morning but it was undetermined if that was a factor in the crash that occurred just before 11:30 a.m.

“Our troopers are going to inspect into what happened but it’s going to take us some time.  We just know the operator of the bus lost control, he said of the investigation.”

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Saturday night it was dispatching a team to also inspect the wreck.  The team were supposed to appear Sunday.

Webb County Volunteer Fire Department Chief Ricardo Rangel informed the Laredo Morning Times the bus belonging to OGA Charters was on the way to a casino in Eagle Pass, about 125 miles northwest of Laredo.  The bus corporation is stationed in San Juan, in Hidalgo County in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.  A note left at the bus corporation Saturday was not directly returned.

Hein affirmed 23 people were taken to Doctors Hospital in Laredo, where the eighth victim died.  There were fifteen people taken to Laredo Medical Center and seven people were taken to a Dimmit County hospital in Carrizo Springs.

Priscilla Salinas, a spokeswoman for Laredo Medical Center, said bus travelers being cared for there were in stable condition.  She said she could share no further information.

The highway at the accident scene was reopened by early nightfall.  Laredo is about 150 miles southwest of San Antonio.

In Texas in the last several years the crash was one of the dangerous bus accidents.  In January 2015, two state corrections leaders and eight prisoners were killed after their Texas Department of Criminal Justice bus bumped into a piece of removed highway guardrail west of Odessa.  The bus dropped down about 20 feet before clashing a Union Pacific freight train that happened to be traveling below the highway.  Last Thursday, the NTSB analyzed that the wreck was caused by the bus bumping the guardrail piece.

In 2008 seventeen travelers died near Sherman when their bus dropped over a highway bridge on their way to a devotional sanctuary in Missouri.  The NTSB accused that crash on a retreaded tire on the right front axle that was ruptured by an unknown object.

However, the retread itself wasn’t the source, the committee noted that the tire was fasten to the front axle illegally, the bus corporation didn’t have the force to leave Texas after declining an inspection three months earlier, and the company that investigated the bus wasn’t completed to judge whether it was ready for the road.  The owner of the Houston bus corporation was incriminated with making dishonest statements but escaped prison in 2014 after a federal judge sentenced him to three years of probation in an appeal affidavit.

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