Advertisement

Truck driver charged with criminally negligent homicide in fatal Texas bus crash

First responders work the scene of a deadly crash after a school bus carrying prekindergarten students collided with a concrete truck Friday, March 22, 2024, in Bastrop, Texas. (KVUE via AP)

BASTROP, Texas (AP) — The driver of a cement truck that veered into oncoming traffic and hit a school bus carrying more than 40 pre-K students was arrested Friday and charged with criminally negligent homicide.

Jerry Hernandez, 42, was arrested at a residence in Bastrop County without incident, said Sgt. Deon Cockrell of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Criminally negligent homicide is punishable by up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Bastrop County online records do not show if Hernandez has an attorney.

The March 22 collision killed 5-year-old Ulises Rodriguez Montoya, who was on the bus, and Ryan Wallace, 33, who was driving another vehicle that was hit by the truck.

Video from a bus dashboard camera released by the Hays Consolidated Independent School district showed the truck suddenly veer across the double-yellow line on a rural highway. The bus moved to avoid a head-on collision before it was struck and rolled, crumpling the roof.

Four people were airlifted from the crash site in critical condition, and six more with serious injuries were taken by ambulance to hospitals. The bus was carrying 11 adults as well as the children.

The school district said the bus did not have seat belts.