Cause unclear in final report of St. Joseph bus crash

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

Oct. 23, 2012 at 5:23 a.m.
Updated Oct. 24, 2012 at 5:24 a.m.

The final report about the St. Joseph High School bus wreck was released Tuesday.

The Department of Public Safety states that "faulty evasive action" and "being on the wrong side of the road" as contributing factors to the Oct. 13 rollover crash.

Whether fatigue was a main factor remains vague. Instead, it was listed on the report under the category of "may have contributed."

Additional details in the report state that a second road sign was hit by bus driver James Clint Parks when he drifted off U.S. Highway 183 North in Gonzales County.

Parks hit the two road signs, then swerved again to avoid a collision with a tractor-trailer heading straight at the bus.

On the day of the wreck, 32 riders - including 28 volleyball players, three coaches and the driver - were on board. They were en route to a volleyball game in Austin.

After evading the tractor-trailer, the bus flipped three-quarter times, went through a barbed wire fence and stopped on its right side, the report stated.

In the report's narrative, DPS Trooper Howard Brothers said there was no indication of evasive action taken by Parks before he struck the two road signs.

Parks told investigators he did not remember what happened during the crash.

The 67-year-old driver was issued a citation accusing him of violating the restrictions on his renewed commercial driver's license.

Before the wreck, Parks had maintained a clean record with no prior offenses, said St. Joseph principal Bill McArdle.

The citation, issued by the DPS, could total $165 in fines and court fees, said Gonzales County DPS Sgt. Anthony Rodriguez.



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