Reports: No New Fatalities From Thursday’s Mount Pleasant Bus Crash
The death total from Thursday night's automobile accident on United States Highway 271 near Talco involving a school bus carrying the Mount Pleasant boys track team, an 18-wheeler and a sedan is holding steady at two, according to the latest report from KLTV. Four people remain hospitalized.
In the early morning hours of Friday, the Mount Pleasant Tribune first reported that 30-year-old Mount Pleasant girls assistant coach Angelica Beard was killed while driving a sedan that was following the boys team's bus. The truck driver also died.
KLTV learned the name of the 18-wheeler driver later in the morning. Bradley Ray Farmer, a 50-year-old, from Missouri.
Mount Pleasant assistant track coach Van Bowen, who is also a linebackers coach with the football team, was one of six people flown away from the scene of the accident by helicopter. He was the only surviving victim specifically named by KLTV, who learned that fact from Mount Pleasant superintendent Judd Marshall.
The station reported Bowen underwent surgery in Tyler and was still listed in critical condition Friday morning.
KLTV also learned drivers on the road in front of the accident called into the Texas Department of Public Safety to report an 18-wheeler driving erratically on the road. Authorities were already on their way to check out the complaints when the accident occurred.
Media entities covering the accident's aftermath in its first hours initially thought the 18-wheeler veered into the lane of oncoming traffic and that the bus was able to fully get out of the way before the reacting driver lost control of the bus and entered a rollover situation.
David Begnaud, a national correspondent for CBS News, suggested that the truck clipped the bus before slamming head on with the sedan Beard was driving. The truck's driver's side door was found near the toppled bus.
Farmer's body will presumably undergo toxicology tests before being released.
Mount Pleasant's boys and girls track teams competed earlier Thursday in a meet at Paris High School and departed after nightfall. The two schools are linked by United States Highway 271, and Talco is about 16 miles from the Mount Pleasant campus.
The bus shuttling the girls team was not in the area at the time of the incident.