BIG SPRING, Texas — One person was killed and seven injured in a terrifying crash of a tractor trailer and a school bus carrying high school cheerleaders back from a game.
Texas officials say the crash occurred late Friday when the driver of the 18-wheeler lost control and crossed the median into oncoming traffic and slammed into the bus carrying the cheerleaders from Iraan High School in West Texas.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said DPS the 52-year-old cheerleading sponsor Liz Pope, died in the crash and her 48-year-old sister, Christina Garlock, who was driving the bus, was seriously injured.
“The community is heartbroken and we are just coming together and grieving,” Iraan-Sheffield Independent School District school board president, Margaret Holmes, told KWES-TV in Midland. “Both girls are a big part of the community and we’re heartbroken.”
Six cheerleaders were hospitalized, and three were later released. All are expected to live, officials said.
Dhalia Butchee, the team’s mascot, who was released, said the cheerleading squad was having a difficult time coming to terms with what had happened.
“It’s very emotional for a lot of them,” she told the station. “The physical injuries and stuff like that will heal. And the emotional trauma, the mental trauma, as far as that goes, I feel like if we stick together we’ll be fine.”
The cheerleaders were on their way home from a football game in Colorado City, Texas where Iraan defeated the Munday Moguls 40-12 in the state quarterfinals. The team is slated to play Wellington in the state semifinal in Abilene next Friday.