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Texans flood Andrews ISD community with prayers, support after deadly bus crash in Big Spring

DPS said an Andrews ISD bus driver and band director were among the three people killed. No students have died, but two had to be airlifted to the hospital.

BIG SPRING, Texas — Texans are coming together to support and encourage the Andrews ISD community after a district school bus with band members on board was involved in a deadly crash in West Texas.

The Department of Public Safety said the collision left three people dead and 14 others injured

EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above is a NewsWest 9 report from Friday evening.

We're told two students were airlifted to the hospital, but all the deceased victims are adults including a school bus driver, a band director and a pickup truck driver who is accused of crashing into the bus.

DPS said an adult and 11 students on the school bus were hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries. Fourteen students who were on board walked away unharmed. 

It was reported a second Andrews ISD bus was at the scene but was not involved in the crash.

NewsWest 9, KHOU 11's sister station, said the uninjured students were taken to the Big Spring Athletics Training Center, where local residents dropped off plenty of water and snacks for them.

NewsWest 9 reporter Sammi Steele posted this video:

According to Texas state Rep. Landgraf Brooks, whose districts include Andrews County, the bus was bringing Andrews High School band members to a playoff game.

Brooks, Gov. Greg Abbott, Sen. Ted Cruz and other Texans went to social media to express their concerns and condolences.

"Heidi and I are praying for the Andrews ISD community, especially for those involved in the horrendous school bus crash near Big Spring, Tx. May they find comfort during these tragic times," Cruz tweeted.

Abbott tweeted he and his wife are also praying for those who were injured and the loved ones of those lost. He added that DPS officials are working closely with local officials to investigate.

Andrews ISD officials responded to these messages with gratitude and asked that everyone "please continue to keep all those involved in your thoughts and prayers as we work though this difficult time."

What happened

DPS officials said a district bus with Andrews High School band members and faculty on board was going down Interstate 20 in Big Spring, Texas when it was struck by a Ford F-350 pickup truck going westbound in the eastbound lanes. 

It happened about 5 p.m. Friday near the 179 mile marker.

The pickup truck reportedly also hit a freightliner bus, which sustained only minor damage. A second Andrews ISD bus was at scene but was not hit. 

NewsWest 9 said there are reports the pickup truck caught fire at some point.

It's still under investigation why the pickup truck driver, who died at the scene, was going in the wrong direction.

The victims

DPS officials have identified the deceased victims as the bus driver, Marc Boswell, 69; the school band director, Darin Johns, 53; and pickup truck driver Nathan Haile, 59. 

NewsWest 9 reported two students were airlifted to the University Medical Center in Lubbock with incapacitating injuries. 

School bus passenger Karen Johns, 53, was taken to Scenic Mountain Medical Center with non life-threatening injuries. Eleven students were also taken to SMMC for treatment of non life-threatening injuries. 

The 12 remaining students were not harmed.

According to Texas state Rep. Landgraf Brooks, whose districts include Andrews County, the bus was bringing Andrews High School band members to a playoff game.

Social media response

Since this tragic crash, the internet has been full with prayers and condolences for everyone impacted. Here are a few posts we found: