Six students and a faculty member’s wife still are being treated in hospitals throughout the state for injuries resulting from the shuttle bus accident south of Ballinger that took the life of Anabel Reid, 19-year-old sophomore environmental science major from Petersburg.
Pat Miller, wife of faculty member Emmett Miller, assistant professor of agriculture and environmental science, is still being treated at Shannon Memorial Hospital in San Angelo for her injuries in the rollover accident that took place Friday. Emmett Miller was released from Shannon Memorial Monday after treatment but remained in San Angelo with his wife. Anna Watson, sophomore animal science major from Kerrville, is being treated at Shannon Memorial as well.
Being treated at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene are Tiffany Lutz, senior animal science major from Zelienople, Pa., and Merissa Ford, junior agribusiness major from Maple Valley, Wash.
Anna Ciufo, freshman animal science major from The Woodlands, is being treated at Dallas’ Parkland Medical Center and underwent orthopedic surgery Monday.
In addition, Naomi Cruz, freshman animal science major from Richmond, has been transferred to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, which is closer to her family.
Allison Dorshorst, freshman environmental science major from Colleyville, is being treated at Community Hospital in San Angelo for a back injury.
Seven other students and faculty members who were on the bus but who have been released from hospitals are:
- Dr. Jim Cooke, professor of agriculture and environmental science
- Dr. Michael Nicodemus, assistant professor of agriculture
- Kathleen Henderson, junior environmental science major from Rockport
- Kendra Unamba, sophomore nursing major from Midlothian
- Haley Wilkerson, sophomore animal science major from Ravenna
- Mandy Wilson, junior animal science major from Walsenburg, Colo.
- Jason Iris, senior environmental science major from Southhampton, Bermuda.
A memorial service for Reid is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Broadway Church of Christ in Lubbock. While the university initially planned to livestream the service on campus, Grant Rampy, director of public relations, said at a press conference Tuesday that would not be possible, though the university plans to record the event.
Rampy said the university plans to honor Reid at a Chapel service sometime next week.
The one-vehicle accident occurred about nine miles south of Ballinger at about 3:20 p.m. Friday on U.S. Highway 83 at CR 234. The bus was traveling southbound when it drifted off the highway into the right-hand ditch and hit a concrete culvert, said Trooper Shawn Baxter, an officer on the scene of the crash. The bus flipped end-over-end and landed on its wheels facing south with the body nearly removed from the frame. Twelve of the 16 occupants were thrown from the vehicle in the accident.
Immediately after the wreck, Winters High School football players and coaches stopped to help those injured. In addition,Garry Bailey, academic director of the Duncum Center for Conflict Resolution, stopped and helped for several hours.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said Tuesday it was investigating driver fatigue as a potential cause of the accident. Nicodemus, who was driving the shuttle bus, has the Texas commercial license required by state law to operate the university’s white 2009 Ford E450 Super Duty Aerotech 24-passenger bus. He was the only occupant of the vehicle wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, said passenger Mandy Wilson and DPS officials investigating the wreck. All the bus seats were equipped with seatbelts. State law does not require other passengers to wear seatbelts on this type of vehicle.
At Tuesday’s press conference, Rampy stressed Nicodemus is still employed by the university. In keeping with university policy, however, he has not been teaching classes this week.
DPS senior trooper Sparky Dean said the shuttle bus’ on-board computer indicated the bus was traveling 65 mph in a 70 mph speed zone.
The group was traveling to Medina Children’s Home for the department’s annual service project at the facility. This was the group’s seventh year to travel to Medina.
Rampy said updates about the wreck are being moved from the university’s emergency blog to a more permanent online location, blogs.acu.edu/iwanttohelp, where students, faculty, staff and friends of the university can go to find opportunities to assist in the aftermath of the crash.