Earlier today, at around 7:30 a.m., eight inmates and two corrections officers died when a prison bus skidded off of an icy overpass, slid down an embankment, and collided with a passing freight train.
The incident happened on West Texas’ I-20 highway. According to Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson, the accident may have been caused by an earlier accident on the very same highway.
In addition to the 10 pronounced dead, there are four more injured and in critical condition, while one other is in serious condition.
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“It’s with a heavy heart that we mourn the loss of those killed and injured this morning in a tragic accident,” said Brad Livingston, executive director of the Department of Criminal Justice. “Their loved ones will be in our thoughts and prayers.”
“It’s as bad as you can imagine,” Kavin Tinney, a battalion chief, told The Odessa American newspaper. “In 32, years it’s as bad as anything I’ve ever seen.”
The Union Pacific freight train involved in the accident had four locomotives and 58 cars. As quickly as possible, the freight train came to a halt after the bus flew in and severely damaged two containers carrying hundreds of parcels and packages on the rear end of the train. Fortuynately, no Union Pacific workers were injured in the incident.