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SAISD Bus Plummets from I-37 Downtown, Four Taken to Hospital

SAISD Bus Crash
Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio

Three people remain in recovery after an SAISD school bus jumped the guard rail on interstate 37 and plummeted fifteen feet to the ground; the district and SAPD are investigating the accident.

San Antonio police say the SAISD bus was traveling northbound on I-37 around 4:45 p.m. Thursday when another vehicle struck it, causing the bus to careen off the freeway and land front of a Comfort Suites hotel off East Houston St..

Sherry Chaudhry is the owner of the hotel and she said she and others in her office heard screeching coming from the freeway.

“This was a really long screeching sound and we knew something was going to happen so we jumped and looked out the window. You could see the bus going over the edge and there was this huge explosion; it sounded like - I thought the bus was in the building,” Chaudry said.

The impact of the fall caused the cab of the bus to separate from its chassis. Inside the bus were one student and two adults.

“The little boy was laying on the bus and he was bleeding a little bit but he was talking and said he was okay,” said Chaundry.

Deborah Foster with the San Antonio Fire Department says they were all transported University Hospital. 

“All of the people that were in the bus were transported priority one due to mechanism of injury,”

The driver of another vehicle that collided with the bus was also transported to the hospital. 

San Antonio Independent School District will conduct an investigation to the accident. District spokeswoman Leslie Price saidthe boy was a homeless student being transported from Highland Park Elementary.

"It is a bus equipped with seatbelts, we do understand that the student was strapped in and we’re just very relieved to hear that it’s non-life-threatening injuries and we’ll be waiting to hear more,” Price said.

The bus was designed for special needs students, but the boy was not a special education student. Family members met him at the hospital.

This is the second time this week the SAISD has experienced a bus crash. On Monday, 63-year-old Dolores Martinez, an SAISD bus driver was killed after colliding with a Judson ISD bus in front of Wagner High School.