On Sunday, a church bus with the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Texas was involved in a single-car accident in Harris County, injuring nearly every passenger.
The driver, a volunteer, apparently took the turn too fast and flipped the bus onto its right side, according to Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.
According to further posts by the sheriff, the bus was carrying three adults and 12 children aged 1 to 16, though some other sources initially reported 16 passengers total.
Nearby residents of the apartments bordering the road came out to assist when they heard the commotion. According to KPRC-TV, 14 of the passengers were transported to hospitals, but the driver was uninjured.
Jennifer Guerra, one of the locals, said her family was sitting down for breakfast when they heard the bus flip over.
“We just, you know, heard a big boom and when we got to the balcony, I called 911,” Jennifer Guerra told KPRC-TV. “And that’s when I was like, I heard screaming, the kids yelling help, help.”
She went out with a few other good Samaritans to help the passengers get out of the bus.
“You know basically trying to keep them calm, but it was like crazy,” Jennifer Guerra said. “I’ve never seen anything like that. I’m just happy that they were okay, and they got help and everything was in God’s hands they were okay.
“We sat them down and gave them water and basically tried to calm them down. Let them know that everything was going to be okay.”
@HCSOTexas units responded to a crash at an apt complex located at 90 Uvalde. Preliminary: a small church bus, with about 25 persons on-board, including children, flipped over. Most are being transported to area hospitals; one person said to be critical. #HouNews pic.twitter.com/EiaWvRb4HK
— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) December 11, 2022
“I had ended up helping a girl,” Alicia Guerra added. “I grabbed her jacket. She had her head open right here and I was trying to apply pressure.”
The sheriff said that the scene was a bit difficult to navigate at first because there were so many kids on the scene.
“When our units arrived, they had to mobilize very quickly because children were kind of partially out the bus and on different places and so it was very chaotic initially,” Sheriff Gonzalez said. “They were able to stabilize the situation.”
“[T]he driver (42) operated the passenger bus,” Sheriff Gonzalez tweeted in an update. “The bus was occupied by 3 adult passengers and 12 child passengers, ranging from one year old to 16 yrs old. The driver failed to control speed while negotiating the curve causing the bus to roll on its right side.
“The driver was not injured and did not exhibit any indicators of being intoxicated or under the influence. 14 out of 15 were transported to hospitals w possible, but non-life-threatening injuries. The 15th passenger (33) was stable. There were no other vehicles involved in the crash. The crash remains under investigation.”
The spot where the accident occurred is a well-known problem area to the locals, who have seen many crashes when drivers are going too fast on the turn.
“My husband, we were just talking about it saying … they need to put speed bumps there because you never know, you know, there’s kids there’s school buses that come by here too and people just driving fast,” Jennifer Guerra said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.