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Bus Crash Kills Four Children, One Driver

Aired June 24, 2002 - 14:31   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: More on that trip to summer camp ending in tragedy just outside of Dallas, Texas. We're going to go live to the scene where Jeff Crilley of KDFW is standing by with more on what's happening with regard to the investigation on how this happened -- Jeff.

JEFF CRILLEY, KDFW REPORTER: Absolute scene of devastation. These young people had left this morning from a church in Garland, Texas. They were only on the road about 45 minutes when the bus lost control. It hit a guardrail and slammed into the bridge support of concrete here.

It killed five people on board, four of them young people. The first witnesses to arrive say it was a scene of devastation: children crying, looking for their friends. They were trying to get young people onto ambulances and send them on helicopters to area hospitals. Then parents started to roll up, asking questions and looking for their sons and daughters. So, a lot of emotion here this morning.

Best speculation at this point as to what could have caused this is perhaps the bus driver fell asleep. The road conditions were fine. There didn't appear to be any traffic problems at all. And so there are reports that their driver was swerving just before the accident. The speculation at this point is perhaps the driver fell asleep.

PHILLIPS: Jeff, that indeed is being investigated right now. We were not really able to confirm that. They are saying it was a possibility. I guess the reports came through that the bus was weaving. So, definitely, investigators are looking at the fact that he possibly did fall asleep.

CRILLEY: Right, and of course, they're going to be talking to the young people. That's going to be their best eyewitnesses. The young people are scattered over several hospitals around the Dallas area. They're going to be interviewing those young people.

But, of course, the young people are trying to find out what happened to their loved ones, trying to get reconnected with their parents. So it's very chaotic here right now.

PHILLIPS: Jeff, I was told a support center was arranged at the Metro Church where these kids had come from. Is that indeed still active? And if anyone needs any information with regard to maybe anyone on board, can they call that church and go forward from there? CRILLEY: Absolutely. That seems to be the place where everybody is gathering to try to clear up all of the questions the parents have about where their son or daughter is right now. And I have talked to some firefighters who say they need some grief counseling as well.

Because these firefighters, they are parents, and they know what kind of heart wrenching problems that everybody involved must be going through. And to try and pick up a young person's body and try and take care of them, that's hard on the firefighters as well.

PHILLIPS: No doubt. Jeff Crilley, KDFW there, just outside of Dallas, Texas. Thanks so much, Jeff.

CRILLEY: You bet.

PHILLIPS: All right, well, stay with us.

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