A Northwest school district school bus carrying 18 schoolchildren crashed Tuesday afternoon near Justin and several elementary students were injured, according to an official with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The wreck occurred about 3:15 p.m. just about five miles west of Justin on Farm Road 407, DPS Lt. Lonny Haschel said.
The bus was traveling west on Farm Road 407 when for an as-yet undetermined reason the right tires left the roadway, Haschel said.
The driver overcorrected and the bus overturned and came to rest on its right side.
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The bus was carrying 18 students from Justin Elementary School, according to officials with the Northwest School District.
At least seven students with non-life threatening injuries have been taken to a local hospital, Haschel said.
The bus driver was treated at the scene. The seven students transported to local hospitals were released on Tuesday evening, according to Northwest ISD spokeswoman Emily Conklin.
"We are very grateful the outcome of yesterday’s accident was not worse," said Conklin in an email. "Northwest ISD is extremly appreciative for the assistance from the first responders from the bus accident yesterday afternoon."
The other students, who were not injured, were taken back to the elementary school.
A steady stream of parents pulled into the parking lot of Justin Elementary on Tuesday evening trying to get answers and pick up their children. Sara Hale, a parent of two students at the school, became emotional when recalling the hour she spent contacting school officials for answers.
"How can a bus tip over, especially on that area of the road? There's no way it should've tipped over," Hale said. "To think that I called the bus barn twice and never got an answer it's scary. Because you never know what's going to happen to your kids. They're supposed to be home at a certain time. They're home at that time every day."
She said her children typically get home around 3:20 p.m. each day. She said after nervously waiting around for the school bus to arrive at 3:40 p.m. she decided to call the school. She got the run around from school officials, according to Hale.
"I called the bus barn. Nothing. I called the school they told me to call the bus barn," Hale said. "I called the bus barn again. Voicemail. I called the school that's when they finally told me about the bus. One bus got tipped over the other kids' bus got diverted back to the school we got to come get them."
One of her two sons, Jesse Hale, a third grader at Justin Elementary, was riding on the school bus directly behind the one that crashed.
"I saw it on it's side because I was on the back of the school bus and I saw it tipped over," Jesse said. "I was so sad."
Northwest ISD officials said they spent the afternoon and evening assisting first responders with the crash to further determine the extent of the injuries. Texas DPS reported that they won't have a better idea of what led to the crash until at least another 10 days, according to Lt. Haschel
The investigation into the crash is ongoing at this time.