SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — It was a scary weekend for the Texas State University football team and its support staff, after their buses crashed in El Paso on the way to a game. Several students were sent to the hospital.
Student videographer Russell Reed was there. “I saw that the bus in front of us came to an abrupt stop and I noticed we were creeping up on the bus, and we weren’t stopping,” said Reed. “My best friend was sitting to the right of me and I saw him seeing what I was seeing at the same time.”
Moments later they crashed into the bus ahead, throwing some students from their seats and pinning the driver. Reed says the bus ricocheted a few times off the bus ahead and then started veering off the road. He says students were panicking and yelling at the driver to stop, but the driver was not able to.
“Once I saw we were literally not capable of stopping, that’s when I took the initiative, something clicked in my head to get up and help the bus driver out,” said Reed. “I spotted the emergency brake to the left of him, and I told him, ‘On three, we have to pull the emergency brake’, and we both pulled it and it came to a stop.”
Clifford Jackson III watched Reed’s quick-thinking.
“You’re kind of born with it in a sense, being able to stay calm, collected and perform under stressful situations,” said Jackson. “I feel blessed and I feel fine that everyone came out OK in the end, so I’m happy about that.”
Once the bus stopped, Reed stayed with the driver, trying to calm him down as they waited on paramedics. “I was just thanking God at that point. I couldn’t stop looking at the bus,” said Reed.
In total, six people were sent to the hospital and released. One of the football players injured, Elijah King, is expected to play in next week’s game, according to Assistant Athletics Director Rick Poulter.
KXAN reached out to the El Paso police for more details on how the accident happened, but the crash report is not finished.