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Charter bus collides with car; 1 hurt

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Dec. 4, 2011 at 6:04 a.m.
Updated Dec. 5, 2011 at 6:05 a.m.

A Ford Escort sits at the edge of the highway divider after it was struck by a bus after failing to yield at a stop sign on Sunday night at the intersection of U.S. 59 and Juan Linn Drive.

A Woodlands Express charter bus bound for Houston collided Sunday with a car on U.S. 59 in southeast Victoria, injuring at least one man.

The injured man, Nicholas Leita, 22, was driving a black Ford Escort, senior patrol officer Herschel Buck said. The crash happened at 8:53 p.m. on U.S. 59 at Juan Linn Street.

Leita was leaving work at MW Rentals & Services Inc., 4002 U.S. 59 N., on a service street when he attempted to cross the highway, Buck said. He failed to yield, and the bus hit his car and spun it around into the median, the officer said.

Leita was taken to Citizens Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition.

Medical personnel also checked the conditions of 50 people on the bus, which remained upright after the crash. Ten bus passengers were treated at the scene, but none went to the hospital.

"It just happened so fast ... It was a hard impact, a big boom sound," said bus passenger Clarence Wooten. "I thought it was a flat and then everyone started hollering and the bus driver started to panic."

The bus driver was identified as Marie Louise Hill, 58, of Gulf Coast Transportation in Houston.

Hill was transporting members of Northland Baptist Church of Houston, who had attended a pastor installation service earlier Sunday at Greater Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Victoria.

"A car just pulled out in front of us, and we heard the collision," bus passenger Michael Stephens said. "Everyone seems to be OK."

Sharyel Jones, Mt. Calvary installation coordinator, and Mt. Calvary's newly installed pastor, the Rev. Montari Morrison, came to the accident scene to check on the bus passengers, who had just left St. Peters Baptist Church, where dinner had been prepared for the installation.

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