AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Sanford-Fritch ISD officials have released a statement detailing the condition of students and staff present during a bus crash in downtown Amarillo.
In a statement released on Facebook, Sanford-Fritch ISD said Northwest Texas Hospital has seen and treated 46 students and 6 school employees.
The school originally said around 80 students were on board when the wreck occurred and that two students received minor injuries, while one district employee received “more significant” injuries and has been taken to the hospital.
At 9:09 a.m., one Sanford-Fritch bus rear ended another bus from the district, causing injury to some passengers on board.
According to the Amarillo Police Department, a Sanford-Fritch school bus stopped at a red light at SE 2nd facing southbound on Taylor. A second bus travelling southbound was unable to stop in time and hit the other bus from behind.
Officials said 55 passengers were taken to a local hospital but no one faced injuries that were life-threatening.
The full on-scene interview with Amarillo Police Department Sgt. Carla Burr is available below.
According to Sanford-Fritch ISD, the students on board were on an Accelerated Reader field trip in Amarillo.
An investigation is underway, though the type of investigation has not yet been specified.
Amarillo police closed South Taylor Street from the 100 block to the 400 block for several hours but it has since been reopened to traffic.
Amarillo Police Department’s Traffic Investigation Squad is investigating the incident.
The buses were removed via tow truck.
Employees at CityChurch on Polk St. heard the crash and took in some of the non-injured children.
“We saw that the fire department and the first responders were kind of separating the kids and getting them organized so we decided that we could try to use our auditorium to help them,” said Pastoral Assistant at CityChurch Chris Dizer. “And we didn’t want the kids to be sitting on the side of the road looking at the crash scene and all that and being out in the hot sun so we opened up our auditorium to them.”
Dizer said they kept the children occupied until more Sanford-Fritch buses and parents came to pick them up.
“Immediately after the crash, a lot of the kids were scared, some of them were crying and didn’t really know what was going on, but we were able to put on a movie and offer them snacks and that immediately changed the mood, so they went from being scared to knowing that they had a safe place to be at,” he said.
The church also extends a thank you to first responders who also had a hand in making sure students were taken care of.
“The way they handled this situation, I feel like we’re really blessed in Amarillo to have great first responders that cared about the kids,” said Dizer. “They not only did their job, but they played with them, many of them said ‘Thank you for your bravery’ during this situation. So we’d just like to say thank you to the first responders in the Amarillo community.”
Parents whose children were involved in the crash spoke to NewsChannel10 off camera and say they are concerned with the district’s response to the incident, but are glad their children aren’t seriously injured.