LAREDO, TX - A charter bus in South Texas rolled over Saturday on North U.S. 83 in Webb County, killing eight people and injuring more than 40 others, according to the county's sheriff's office.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is handling the investigation into the crash, and the National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team to investigate, too.
"I extend my heartfelt condolences to the loved ones of the individuals who lost their lives and those who were injured in this tragic accident," Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar said in a Facebook post from the department.
By Saturday evening, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also issued a statement on the tragedy, conveying his condolences along those of Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott.
"Cecilia and I extend our deepest condolences to those affected by the tragic accident in South Texas today," Abbott said. "I ask the entire State of Texas to keep the families of loved ones lost today, as well as the Webb County community, in its thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."
The bus rolled overAround 11:45 am local time, according to Reuters, citing Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Conrad Hein. The bus was carrying 52 passengers, he added.
Seven of the eight people who died were pronounced dead on scene, and the other died in a hospital, Hein told Reuters. In all, 44 people were injured, some in critical condition, Hein said.
A spokesperson for La Joya ISDtold reporters told local media outletssome employees from the school district were among the passengers on the doomed bus. A spokesman for the La Joya American Federation of Teachers told news outlets at least five of passengers work at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Peñitas - a city of just over 4300 residents located near McAllen - including a counselor and two clerks.
School counselor Marta Villarreal sustained a broken hip while clerk Rosemary Bernal suffered broken rib, the spokesman said. Another district employee, Natalie Alaniz, was hospitalized in stable condition.