The shuttle bus carrying 12 ACU students, three faculty members and one faculty member’s spouse involved in a accident on Highway 83, has been towed from the scene for investigation, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. The shuttle bus, which was destroyed in the accident, was a white 2009 Ford E450 Super Duty Aerotech 24 passenger bus.
The crash is being investigated by Trooper Michael Gray of Runnels County. The release stated multiple agencies are assisting in the recovery.
“As of now, the bus has been taken somewhere to be held,” said Grant Rampy, ACU director of public relations.
Officers are still trying to determine what caused the university owned bus to lose control, running off the road, hitting a cement convert and rolling one time.
“The initial police department investigation has not even been completed yet,” Rampy said.
Pictures of the crash site show the shuttle bus completely mangled. All the seats were left exposed, and the exoskeleton of the 2009 Ford hangs loosely off the left side of the bus.
“Several students were ejected in the crash,” the release states.
One student, Anabel Reid, was pronounced dead at the scene while many others were helicoptered to area hospitals.
“At about 3:20 this afternoon, a 2009 Ford bus was carrying students and faculty from Abilene Christian University on a weekend mission trip to Medina Children’s Home,” the release stated. “The bus was southbound on U.S. 83 in Runnels County; south of Ballinger, Texas as the driver lost control at Country Road 234.” The driver was confirmed to be Dr. Michael Nicodemus, professor in the agricultural and environmental sciences department.
By Saturday morning, seven people involved in the crash were listed as being in stable condition as two remain in critical care.
Dr. Phil Schubert, president of the university, released a video Saturday morning after visiting students.
“Your prayers, your love, your concern had an enormous impact on this very difficult situation,” Dr. Schubert said. “Our community is strong, but we’re hurting. Please continue to lift the family up in your prayers. There is a long road ahead, but God is faithful and he will make us strong.”
Rampy encouraged students, faculty, family and the community to continue checking emergency.acu.edu for continual live updates.
Representatives of the university could not confirm whether or not the remaining buses would be looked into.