In a report recently released by the Ector County Sheriff’s Department, it has been revealed that 10 bus occupants, including eight prison inmates from the Middleton prison in Abilene, were fatally injured in a bus accident that took place on Interstate 20 on Wednesday morning just west of Odessa in Penwell.
It’s believed that icy conditions on the interstate were the primary cause of the accident, which resulted in the bus driver losing control of the vehicle, sending it off the roadway and into the path of an oncoming train.
The force of the collision caused a number of the inmates – who were handcuffed and not wearing seatbelts – to be thrown inside the cabin, while a number of the passengers were ejected from the bus completely.
In a statement from Odessa Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Kevin Tinney:
“In 32 years it’s as bad as anything I’ve seen.”
The office of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has confirmed the incident, adding that another four prisoners and one corrections officer were also injured in the accident.
While the statement from the TDCJ did not clarify who was driving the bus at the time of the incident, they have released the names of the deceased:
- Christopher Davis, 53
- Eligio Garcia, 45
* 38 year old Jason Self – a correctional officer at the prison was also listed as being in critical condition.
- Jesus Reyna, 44
- Jeremiah Rodriguez, 35
- Adolfo Ruiz, 32
- Michael Sewart, 25
- Tyler Townsend, 29
- Angel Vasquez, 31
- Byron Wilson, 34
- Kaleb Wise, 22
* Prison inmates Terry Johnson, 22, Hector Rivera, 37, Remigio Pineda, 34 and Damien Rodriguez, 22 were also noted as being hospitalized and in serious condition.
The accident is still under investigation.
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