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Several Hospitalized after Prison Bus Rollover

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UPDATE (12/16): Officials informed 14 inmates involved in a bus rollover in Willacy County on Friday were released from two Harlingen hospitals. 

Two inmates still hospitalized are expected to recover, but remain under medical observation as a precaution, according to Texas Correctional System spokesman Jason Clark. 

RAYMONDVILLE – DPS troopers continue investigating the prison bus rollover in Willacy County. It happened at the intersection of Spence Road (FM 1834) and FM 186, which is west of Raymondville, around 7:25 this morning.

Willacy County Sheriff Larry Spence first confirmed to CHANNEL 5 NEWS the wreck involved a prisoner transport vehicle.

According to DPS Lt. Johnny Hernandez, the vehicle was a prison bus, carrying 16 inmates. He said there were a total of 16 people taken to the hospital. Two staff members were also on the bus and being checked on. Hernandez told CHANNEL 5 NEWS the bus driver suffered the worst injuries, but all the injuries appeared to be non-life-threatening.

Raymondville firefighters and Willacy County EMS crews responded to the scene as well. Hernandez said the troopers were responding to another accident in the area, involving an HEB 18-wheeler that jack-knifed.

According to DPS, preliminary reports show the prison bus driver was forced off the road, when a vehicle in from of him stopped suddenly. Hernandez said the fog and drizzle were also factors in the accidents.

In a press release, Clark stated five offenders were taken to the Valley Baptist Medical Center and 11 were taken to the Harlingen Medical Center for treatment. He said the bus was traveling from the Segovia-Lopez Complex in Edinburg to the Raymondville jail.

Check back with CHANNEL 5 NEWS for more updates.

Here is the complete statement from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice:

At approximately 7:25 am, a bus carrying 16 offenders and 2 correctional officers was involved in an accident on Highway 186 just west of Raymondville. The bus was traveling from the Segovia-Lopez Complex to the Willacy Facility. Preliminary information is that a vehicle abruptly stopped in front of the bus causing the driver to take evasive action to avoid striking the vehicle. The bus left the roadway and rolled onto its side.  5 offenders were taken to Valley Baptist Medical Center and 11 were transported to Harlingen Medical Center for treatment. There appear to be no serious injuries sustained by offenders or staff. DPS is at the scene and investigating.

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