One killed in bus crash involving Abilene Christian students

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by Associated Press Reports & JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

Associated Press & WFAA

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 4 at 10:36 PM

Bus crash

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ABILENE — A bus carrying Abilene Christian University students to a Texas children's home for a weekend of missionary work lost control on a highway on Friday and overturned, killing a 19-year-old student and injuring all 15 other people onboard, four of them critically, officials said.

News 8 has learned at least two students aboard the bus are from North Texas.

Kenda Unamba graduated from Hurst's L.D. Bell High School in 2009 and was studying pre-med, according to her Facebook page. The Texas Department of Public Safety said Unamba was taken to a hospital in Ballinger. But the medical center there would not release her condition. 

News 8 has also learned another student involved in the accident is from Colleyville. The name and details on that individual have not yet been released.

The bus carrying 12 agricultural students, three faculty members and a faculty member's spouse was headed to Medina when the driver lost control entering a bend on U.S. 83 near Ballinger, about 50 miles southwest of Abilene, the Texas Department of Public Safety said. The bus struck a concrete culvert and overturned completely once, ejecting several passengers in the process.

Anabel Reid, a student from Petersburg, was confirmed dead at the scene, and all 15 others who were on the bus were taken to area hospitals, where four were in critical condition, according school spokesman Grant Rampy.

"It is for us a very, very serious situation," he said.

Michael Nicodemus, a 34-year-old faculty member, was driving the school's bus, which was reduced to a shredded metal wreck.

The students and faculty were headed to Medina for the weekend to do mission work at a children's home, Rampy said.

School officials, including Phil Schubert, the president of the 4,700-student school, headed out to the four hospitals where the injured were being treated to comfort the families of those who were hurt.

"It's all hands on deck, all members of ACU administration have fanned out to area hospitals," Rampy said.

Students planned to hold a Friday night vigil, he said.

"At this point we're reaching out to parents to make sure they're getting the information we have," he said.

Friday's crash stirred memories of a fatal wreck nine years ago that killed five ACU students from Nigeria. The students were traveling around Texas during Easter break in an SUV. The DPS determined that the driver likely fell asleep. The vehicle veered off a highway about 110 miles from Abilene and landed on its roof on a concrete embankment about 30 feet below.

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Associated Press writer Matt Curry in Dallas contributed to this report.


 

 

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