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21 Injured, 1 Dead in Texas Bus Crash

VICTORIA, Texas — A pickup truck sideswiped a bus and sent it crashing into a light pole on a southeast Texas highway, killing one passenger and leaving 21 others injured, authorities said Thursday.

The Valley Transit Greyhound bus was travelling from Houston to the border city of McAllen late Wednesday when the accident happened just south of Victoria, Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Gerald Bryant said.

The truck was pulling onto U.S. 77 from a side street when it ran into the 24-passenger southbound bus, causing it to veer into the utility pole, Bryant said.

Juana Lopez Perez, 53, of Matamoros, Mexico, was killed and 21 others on board were taken to hospitals with injuries not considered life-threatening.

Five of the eight people taken to DeTar Navarro Hospital in Victoria were treated and released while three remained there Thursday, said Judith Barefield, a hospital spokeswoman.

Thirteen people were taken to Citizens Medical Center in Victoria. All were discharged except one who was in stable condition Thursday, said Shannon Spree, hospital spokeswoman.

Perez, who was travelling alone, had been sitting at the front of the bus near the door when the accident occurred. She died at the scene, Bryant said.

"It happened so fast," passenger Larry Sanchez told The Victoria Advocate. "Once the impact hit, it was total pandemonium."

Witnesses said the bus driver, Guadalupe Ruiz, 57, of Harlingen, didn't have time to react when the pickup sideswiped the right side of the bus.

Neither Ruiz nor the pickup truck's driver, Larry Marceaux, 30, of Vinton, La., were injured, Bryant said.

The truck driver was issued a ticket for failing to yield the right-of-way at an intersection.

The Victoria County District Attorney's office will determine whether additional charges should be filed, Bryant said.



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