The driver of a San Antonio Independent School District bus died after her vehicle collided with a Judson Independent School District bus on N. Foster Road Monday morning.
Sgt. Jose Trevino, with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, said investigators are still looking into what caused the woman behind the wheel of the SAISD bus -- identified Monday afternoon as 63-year-old Dolores Martinez -- to go off course.
He said her vehicle was northbound in the 3000 block of N. Foster Road just before 7 a.m. Monday when it crossed the median and slammed head-on into the southbound Judson bus, driven by 48-year-old John Warren.
Martinez died at the scene. Paramedics, meanwhile, focused on the injured, assessing the 40 Judson students and the five children on the SAISD bus.
Two children and Warren were transported to a hospital.
“They have minor injuries. We don’t have any serious injuries on any of the children at this point,” Trevino said.
The accident happened right around the corner from a neighborhood full of single family homes. While many people who live there slept through the commotion, Kevin Clark had an early wakeup call. The SAISD bus plowed through his backyard fence.
"We heard a loud crash and then about two or three more crashes after that. So we ran to the backyard and noticed that the bus was there,” Clark said. “(The children on the bus) were pretty calm but shaken. They weren't screaming or crying or anything."
Clark said he tried to help the students but knew right away that the driver was dead.
“It hits home to see anybody in that situation,” he said. “My prayers go out to driver and her family, but luckily, the other kids were OK. So I guess we're thankful for that."
Sheriff’s investigators said they were not sure if the driver who died suffered a medical condition or was killed in the crash. Her name was not released immediately.
The Judson bus was headed to Masters Elementary School.
Families, districts cope with aftermath
Meanwhile, by Monday afternoon, families and school district employees were helping the students come to terms with what had happened.
Kathy Pilgrim said she got a call asking her to pick up her 8-year-old grandson, Richard, who was on the SAISD bus when it crashed.
"I'm going to -- first of all -- let him talk it out and help him work through the emotions," she said.
Richard is homeless right now, and no longer lives in the Judson school district.
He still takes a bus there every day through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, a federal program that lets homeless students stay in their old school, even if they no longer live in district boundaries.
There were four other kids on the bus with Richard.
Dozens of parents with students on the Judson school bus also got phone calls telling them their children were in a crash.
Elaine King had two sons on the bus.
"'We've been in an accident. We want to let you know your son hit his head on the window, and he's complaining of neck pain and his head hurting,'" King said, describing the phone call she received from the district.
KSAT reporter Jenna Hiller contributed to this report.