New details released in deadly bus crash - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

New details released in deadly bus crash

Anabel Reid Anabel Reid
ABILENE, TX (KCBD) -

The driver of the bus that was involved in the deadly crash Friday afternoon was the only person wearing a seatbelt, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

DPS Senior trooper, Sparky Dean says Michael Adam Nicodemus, 34, of Abilene did have a Texas commercial license as required by the state.

Even though Nicodemus was the only one buckled in, Texas law does not require the passengers of a 24-passenfer bus to wear seatbelts. The bus was equipped with seatbelts.

Trooper Dean says the on-board computer indicated the bus was traveling 65 mph in a 70 mph speed zone. The bus drove off the right side of the roadway into a ditch where it struck a concrete culvert, rolling once and landing upright. The fiber glass top of the bus broke away from the frame. 12 of the 16 passengers were ejected.

Immediately after the crash we've learned the Winters football team actually helped aiding those injured.

"It's something you don't ever prepare for to see. We got our medicine kits out, towels and things like that. Tried to help as much as we could," said Winters football coach Stephen Hermesmeyer.

The players stayed on the bus, while the coaches did whatever they could.

"I will never forget I saw an older guy out there waving traffic to get people from the north to southbound lanes. It wasn't just the coaches it was a team effort from everyone," said Stephen Hermesmeyer.

This tragedy has Lubbock Christian University evaluating their emergency policies and procedures.

"Do we have things in place for who would start communicating? I don't know if we will change anything but it is good to review our different policies on a regular basis," said LCU Spokesperson Kelli Childre.

LCU goes on bus trips regularly, instead they take chartered buses. ACU did not have a charter.

Since the ACU passengers were not buckled up, LCU does want to encourage their students to make good choices.

"From a safety standpoint, anyone would tell you that anytime there is a seatbelt then certainly put it on," said Childre.

Troopers are investigating fatigue as a potential contributing factor in this accident.  Once that is determined, the Runnels County prosecutor will determine if any laws were violated. The prosecutor could then bring possible charges. This process could take months.

Anabel Reid, 19, a Lubbock High School graduate from Petersburg died in the crash. As of  Tuesday, eight people are still hospitalized and seven have been released.

The bus was transporting several Abilene Christian University students to a weekend mission trip to Medina Children's Home southwest of Kerrville.

Copyright 2011 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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