6 bus crash passengers remain in intensive care

Posted Friday, Apr. 12, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Blood donors needed

Carter BloodCare is seeking blood donations, saying supplies were low before the bus crash Thursday that injured 41 people.

"It would be great to help replenish the supplies. We were already at less than preferred levels," Yesenia Olide said.

Carter BloodCare supplies 90 percent of blood products in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and is the sole provider for Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, where 15 of the injured were taken.

All blood types are needed, but the agency is especially seeking 200 O negative blood donors daily for the next two weeks, she said.

"When a trauma victim comes into the hospital, they don't have time to [blood] type them right away," Olide said. "O negative is what they're going to get because that is compatible with most blood types."

To donate, contact Carter BloodCare at 800-366-2834 or www.carterbloodcare.org.

Passenger information

Relatives seeking information about bus passengers can call 972-721-4636.

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DALLAS -- Six patients from Thursday's charter bus crash remained in intensive care Friday at Parkland Memorial Hospital, though doctors said they expect at least four of those patients to show improvements later in the day.

In all, 12 of the 15 patients who arrived at Parkland Thursday with multiple injuries remained hospitalized, said Dr. Alex Eastman, interim trauma medical director.

Eastman did not go into detail about the injuries while meeting with reporters outside the hospital emergency room Friday afternoon, but said "they were consistent with what you would expect from a motor vehicle crash that occurs without seatbelts."

Patients ranged in age from 66 to 80.

More than 500 hospital personnel from all departments responded to help the victims, Eastman said.

"All the patients were processed through the system efficiently and effectively," Eastman said. "I told each one of them this morning that I am committed to getting them back on the road up north so they can start rolling some 7s again really soon."

Two passengers were killed, and 41 people, including the driver, were injured in the crash that occurred about 9:10 a.m. Thursday, according to the Irving Fire Department. The bus was northbound on Texas 161 at Belt Line Road when it veered right and struck a rubber barrier. The bus then careened left, crossed two lanes and went into a grassy area, where it struck and slid along a concrete barrier, ending up on its side.

Sgt. Lonny Haschel, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said the investigation into the cause of the crash was ongoing. The inquiry will be "very lengthy" and the accident report will likely not be complete for up to a week, he said.

The trip to the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Okla. was organized by Sue Taylor, 81, of Hurst, who died in the crash.

Nicknamed "Casino Sue," she organized trips all over Oklahoma. A daughter, Pam Boynes, who lives in Florida and arrived in North Texas on Friday morning, said she wasn't sure how her mother got her nickname but speculated that her mother might have been the first to say it.

"Whenever you go on a trip with her she'd give you a tag that said 'Casino Sue's trip.' " she said. "I have one hanging at home that I kept from a trip."

Taylor worked for years for the Tarrant County Tax Assessor, Boynes said. After she retired, she started taking trips to casinos in Oklahoma and enjoyed it so much that she started organizing them for friends.

Those trips started about 10 years ago, she said. For a time, she organized a trip every week but lately it was more like twice a month.

Taylor worked hard to make the trips fun, Boynes said. She brought along games, lottery tickets and candies for the passengers. They dressed up for Halloween. She also awarded a gag gift to the "biggest loser" -- whoever lost the most money at the casino.

Taylor's favorite game was slots, Boynes said. But she also liked the camaraderie with friends.

"She really enjoyed it," Boynes said. "There are retirement homes and nursing homes all over Fort Worth or Arlington where people have known her for years."

Boynes said she learned about the crash from a friend who saw news about it on television. The friend knew her mother was taking a bus trip.

"I turned it on and I knew it was one of her buses," she said. "When we heard that it left from a grocery store in Hurst, we knew it was her bus."

Boynes said confirmation of her mother's death did not come until much later. The delay was difficult, she said.

"I was at work beating on a computer, looking at pictures, 'Tell me where my mom is!'" she said.

Boynes said her mother had so many friends that the family may need a large venue to hold funeral services.

"She was adorable. She was sharp," she said. "She was in good health and she should have been around a lot longer."

Alex Branch, 817-390-7689

Twitter: @albranch1

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