Lufkin school bus involved in wreck; 2 drivers injured

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin school bus was down to its last 3 passengers, finishing afternoon drop off. Bus 51 stopped at a red light at the intersection of Loop 287 and East Denman, when authorities say a van slammed into the back of the bus around 2:10 p.m.

"It's very common, and most people, you know, they drive down here. They're not paying attention to what's in front of them," said Lufkin Police Department Traffic Officer, Eduardo Ibarra.

Not sure if it was a bus filled with kids, Officer Ibarra headed to the scene right away.

"Anytime there's a child involved in an accident or any situation, you know, it puts us in alert to respond as quickly as we can so we can be able to help them out," said Ibarra.

The three Lufkin Middle School students on board were uninjured. Their parents came to pick them up from the scene.

"Glad that the kids were able to walk out of here and go back home," said Ibarra.

The driver of the van, Richard Dial, was towing a car on a hitch behind his van. While switching lanes, he told officers the weight of his load kept his anti-lock brakes from completely stopping.

"The passenger he was with said that he was having problems maneuvering the handle, as far as the brake handle," said Ibarra.

Both drivers were transported to nearby hospitals for minor injuries. As for the banged-up bus, it won't be back in service until it's given a full inspection.  Lufkin Police and Lufkin Fire personnel responded to the wreck.

The driver of the bus, Latanya Brown, 40, of Lufkin, was taken to Memorial Hospital for a minor neck injury, after her head hit the steering wheel. The driver of the van, Richard Dial, 54, of Groveton, was taken to Woodland Heights Hospital for minor injuries.

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