Bus Company: Driver in Stable Condition following Crash at Rio Hondo Bridge
UPDATE (12/7 7:03PM): The bus company transporting detainees in immigration custody, Trailboss Enterprises, released a statement following Friday's crash.
Chief Operating Officer Bob Christie states:
"At this time, our primary concern is with the wellbeing of our passengers and the security transport drivers. All four were taken to the Valley Baptist Medical Center for immediate care. Our driver remains in stable condition and our co-driver was treated and released. The detainees received treatment and were released to the Department of Homeland Security.”
“We are doing everything we can to cooperate with the Rio Hondo Department of Public Safety. Because the motor coach was transporting detainees in immigrant custody, we are also working with the Department of Homeland Security. We apologize to the people of Rio Hondo area for any inconvenience the bridge closure may bring."
The company says it will assist the Texas Department of Transportation and local authorities.
UPDATE (12/7 3:53PM): In regards to Friday night’s bus crash involving migrant detainees at the Rio Hondo Bridge, immigration officials have released a statement.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement says:
“On Dec. 6, 2019, a Trail Boss bus contracted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to transport detainees was involved in a crash as the bus was traveling through the city of Rio Hondo, Texas. A total of four people were inside the bus at the time of the crash — two contract guards and two ICE detainees. No ICE employees were involved. All four occupants were taken to a local hospital in Harlingen, Texas, where they were treated; three were released, and one remains hospitalized. The two detainees were returned to ICE custody.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility are investigating this incident.
No further details are releasable at this time.”
RIO HONDO – The Rio Hondo Bridge is closed after a bus transporting detainees in immigration custody veered across a divider and crashed into a bridge post.
It happened just after 6 p.m. Friday.
Onboard the bus along with the two detainees was an officer and the bus driver from the transportation company, Trailboss. All four were sent to the hospital, with the driver facing the most serious injuries.
“He just didn't negotiate the approach to the bridge correctly and misinterpreted the lanes and hit the bridge. We're still investigating so we're not a hundred percent sure on the cause of the collision,” said William Bilokury, Rio Hondo public safety director.
Officials say there’s no reason to believe the detainees onboard did anything to cause the crash.
The Texas Department of Transportation will temporarily shut down the bridge for structural assessment which will be performed Saturday.
TxDOT released surveillance footage of the crash Saturday morning.
Video of the bus striking the north tower of the Rio Hondo Bridge last night. Structural assessment team will be inspecting bridge today. Bridge will be closed until further notice. Please stay tuned. pic.twitter.com/oT3ZtIaclg— TxDOT Pharr District (@TxDOTPharr) December 7, 2019