Relatives Follow Rita Bus Explosion - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

11/16/05 - Nacogdoches

Relatives Follow Rita Bus Explosion

by Donna McCollum

One of the biggest tragedies during Hurricane Rita was the death of 23 people on a bus trying to escape the storm. Rose Dipuma, 91, was one of the passengers on that bus. Her sister and niece live in Garrison. The bus caught fire after a back wheel malfunctioned on the way to the Dallas area. Oxygen tanks used by some patients on the bus then started exploding.

A Texas Grand Jury chose not to indict the bus driver. Family members here in East Texas are following developments closely. Niece Vita Ray said, "Any of the families would want to get to the bottom of it when something tragic like that happens. She was such a good person. Such a dear lady. She had never been sick a day in her life, and she would have been living today if that hadn't had happened."

Investigators said the decision not to indict the bus driver is not a setback. They are still focusing on other aspects of the investigation.

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