Horns and sirens

A tragedy in Athens, Texas


Abby Woloss

Chaos at its finest// A mass of buses flood the streets between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm. Due to the new Gene Burton Academy, the transport of students is continuous. “I’m more alert now. I am always watching out for who is on the street when I am driving,” said junior, Kirsten Rohlfs.

Abby Woloss, Opinions Editor

On Friday, the 25th of January, a school bus apart of Athens ISD in Texas collided into an oncoming train at a railroad crossing with no arms or automated lights in place.

78 year old school bus driver, John Stevens, drove over train tracks into an upcoming train at approximately 4 pm last Friday. According to KFDA in Amarillo, TX, the train in the collision sounded it’s horn for 30 seconds before crossing the strip of road where the bus was stationed.

Three individuals occupied the bus: the driver, and two students. One student, a 13 year old male, was pronounced dead on scene; the second student, a 9 year old girl, was flown to the hospital and placed in the ICU. It has since been released that she is in a stable condition. The bus driver managed to escape with no fatal injuries.

KFDA in Amarillo, TX also verified that John Stevens arrived in his position, “with a clean driving record, passed every single test, has every bit certification that a bus driver is supposed to have. That includes a medical examination. He got it, he passed it”.

Students at Heath were not directly affected, but there have been moments in Rockwall’s history where serious bus crashes have occurred as well. Though it has been years since their occurrence, the possibility and likelihood of bus crashes has caused some worry for students at the school.

“If anything it makes me more cautious of what my bus driver is doing. You watch them for their driving habits,” said junior, Kirsten Rohlfs.

Vehicular accidents are more common than ever. Many people however, are choosing to appease ignorance as bliss.

“I don’t really think about it affecting my daily life. I mean it’s horrible that it happened, but that is just one example of something bad happening. We can’t worry about everything,” said Lexi Menges, junior.