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Ferris area has 2 school bus wrecks within 5 days

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The Ellis County Press

FERRIS - In less than a week two people have been sent to the hospital after being injured in automobile accidents involving local school buses.

An Ellis County Co-Op bus driven by Sherry James collided with an 1981 Dodge truck in the 500 block of East India Road about 3 p.m. Monday Oct. 27.

Michael Seiber, 51, of India, driver of the pickup, was transported to Veterans Hospital in Dallas where he was treated and later released for apparent chest, head and arm injuries. Seiber said he was approaching the corner on East India Road when he saw a bus driven by an unidentified woman had crossed over the middle of the road striking his pick-up head.

'I heard a loud noise and turned to see what happened,' said Linda Poindexter, who lives on India Road.

State Trooper Brence Garrison said the accident is still under investigation and a report would not be ready for 10 days.

Garrison said the bus driver and the two students were not injured. Poindexter said the larger Ferris Independent School District buses usually drive so fast down East India Road, even though a sharp curve sits just up the road from her home.

'I'm just concerned about the safety of the children on those buses,' Poindexter said.

She said in the last eight years of living on East India Road she has called the Ellis County Sheriff's Department and FISD at least once a year to complain on the speed of the larger school buses.

'I have never had a returned call,' she said.

She said Seiber was so far over when the bus struck him it pushed him off the road.

Due to the sharp tight curve, Poindexter said, Sieber or the bus driver could have not known what hit them.

If Seiber's truck had not been an older model truck he would have not lived, she said, noting newer model vehicles are not made as sturdy as they used to be.

She said school bus drivers have a habit of driving in the middle of East India Road, even though the road has curves and dips.

FISD Superintendent Larry Hairgrove said he could not remember getting a call recently concerning bus drivers driving too fast along East India Road, however he could not say it has never happened.

He said school drivers are 'fully trained to drive school buses. They must have a special license - a commercial driver license.'

The bus was heading southwest bound on East India, while the pick-up truck was headed northwest bound and collided after they each went around a blind curve, Director of Ellis County Shared Services Gary Autrey said.

He said he is waiting on an estimate from the automotive shop to determine the cost to repair the bus.

Autrey said it was standard procedure for the driver to be checked for injuires, tested for drugs and to await the investigative report from the state trooper before any possible actions would be taken against the driver.

Autrey said as far as he knew this was James' first accident.

In an earlier accident, Annette Rogers said an unidentified white male driving a late model Honda CRX was heading toward Central Avenue on Eighth Street when he ran the stop sign and struck a Ferris Independent Sscool District bus as it traveled southbound along Central Avenue on Wednesday Oct. 22 taking students home.

Witnesses said the man driving the CRX hit the bus on the front left side causing damage to the bumper.

Rogers said the CRX hit the bus and spun also striking her car, a 1996 Geo Prizm.

'We're waiting on the police report, but it seems like right now our driver is not at fault,' Hairgrove said.

Jason Duffee, a student from Ferris was taken by ambulance to Charlton Methodist Hospital in Dallas to be evaluated for injuries following the wreck, Ferris Fire Chief Eddie Duran said.

Duffee's brother, Jacob, who was also riding on the bus at the time of the incident stated his brother suffered from a neck strain, but was later released from the hospital.

The mother of the man driving the silver car was overheard telling her son, 'I guess your driving days are done aren't they son.'

Jacob Duffee stated the accident was minor and praised the bus driver, Robbie Hobbs.

'Anyway, I give credit to the bus driver, she did a good job controlling the bus,' Duffee wrote in an e-mail.

Ferris Police Officers Epifanio Garfias, Joe Villa and David Vaughn responded to the scene to investigate the accident. 'I was especially appreciative at the quick response of Ferris Police Department and Fire Department and appreciate their help,' Hairgrove said.

Police officials said it be up to 10 days before the accident report would be completed to be released to the public.

As of press time it is unknown if any charges or citations will be brought against any of the drivers in the accident.

As of press time the driver's name of the CRX was unavailable.

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