Cell phone use caused pickup driver to crash into bus in Newark

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Fortunately injuries were minor after a pickup slammed into the back of a full school bus Monday morning in Newark. The wreck occurred just before 9 a.m. on Farm Road 718, about a half-mile south of the intersection with FM 3433. The driver of the pickup, Chad L. Humphus, 40, of Bedford, was texting or doing something else on his cell phone when he rammed into the stopped bus said anĀ investigator with the Texas Department of Public Safety. Although the wreck crumpled the front of his pickup, he was uninjured in the wreck. Humphus will be issued a citation for failure to control speed. The bus was stopped to pick up a student, with the lights flashing, when it was hit. There were 26 children on the bus on their way to Chisholm Trail Middle School in Rhome when the accident occurred. Three reported minor injuries, with one being sent by ambulance to Wise Regional Health Services in Decatur after suffering a chipped tooth. The rest were loaded onto another bus and taken to class. School bus driver Kristin Freeman, 27, of Newark, was also uninjured in the wreck.

Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

“I’m very remorseful,” Humphus said after the wreck. “I feel horrible about what happened. I would never want to injure a child. I’ve never even been in accident before in my life.”

Turns out the kids on the bus were just as worried about him.

“We were picking a girl up from this house, and a truck smashed into us from out of no where and knocked us all forward,” said seventh grade student Conor Howard, who was nursing a sore neck after the wreck. “Everybody was scared, and we were all worried about the guy in the truck. It looked like he tried to turn to miss us.”

Northwest Superintendent Karen Rue arrived on the scene to check out the injured students. Middle school principal Todd Rogers was also there.

“We started our emergency procedures right away,” Rogers said. “The students are fine. One is going to Wise Regional to get checked out. All the others are being sent to school.”

Another school bus pulled up and the kids filed dutifully from one bus to the other. Rogers said there would be counselors available at school if needed.



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