Donna, Texas was the scene of a fiery crash when a Valley Metro Bus rear-ended a pickup truck on Expressway 83, killing the truck’s passenger and causing a multi-vehicle accident.
The accident sent three people who were onboard the bus to the hospital and had emergency crews scrambling to contain the situation on Salinas Boulevard on Wednesday afternoon.
According to witnesses, the pickup truck had been eastbound on the highway when it had slowed down to maneuver around another accident. The bus approached the pickup from behind but never slowed down. It rammed into the truck, causing it to burst into flames. Though the pickup truck’s driver was able to be pulled from his vehicle, the passenger that was riding with him was not able to be extracted and perished inside.
The bus was not carrying any passengers at the time of the accident, but it is normally used as a shuttle between the McAllen and Weslaco campuses of South Texas College, which contracts with Valley Metro for that service. The bus was carrying the driver and three other people who have not been identified. They were taken to a local hospital and released shortly afterward.
The Donna, Texas police are investigating the accident and have not yet been able to arrive at an explanation for what happened. A blood sample was taken from the driver, whose name was not released. He suffered minor injuries in the incident. According to Tom Logan, a Valley Metro spokesman, the bus had been on its way to Weslaco as part of its route when the crash occurred. After striking the pickup truck, the bus continued and crashed into a sign outside of a pool and patio store. It did cause damage to the sign, as well as some merchandise that was being displayed outside.
Abe Robledo was a witness to the accident as he drove eastbound on the expressway. “I noticed the truck slow down because of the accident in front of him and then I saw the bus slam right into the back of it. The bus just kept going like it didn’t have brakes.” Robledo and other witnesses quickly ran to the pickup truck to try to help. “It was chaos. I saw at least two other guys get out of their cars and run towards the truck as other cars on the road were still driving past us.”