A bus transporting elderly Texans to an Oklahoma casino crashed around 9 a.m. Thursday morning in Irving, Texas, killing two people and injuring 41 others, according to news reports.
The Irving Fire Department says 41 people were hospitalized as a result of the crash, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Fifteen seriously injured patients between the ages of 66 and 80 were taken to a Dallas hospital.
Passengers met up at a local Walmart at 8 a.m., bound for the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Okla., according to the Star-Telegram. More passengers were picked up 30 minutes later. Dan Risik, 73, told the publication that the bus driver introduced himself to riders, sharing that he had 30 years of experience.
"He was very, very experienced, to say the least," Risik said. "All I know is, all of a sudden, the bus started to shake and rattle real bad, like a crash sound. ... The next thing I knew we were laying on our side and people were hollering and screaming on top of each other."
The bus rolled over after striking a concrete median separating the highway's northbound and southbound lanes.
"For an as yet undetermined reason, that motor coach traveled off the right-hand side of the roadway and struck what's called an impact attenuator, those big rubber things that are on the side of the road," Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Lonnie Haschel told CBS DFW.
"After it struck the impact attenuator," said Haschel, "it went back across the lanes of traffic into a grassy area and struck the concrete median. It rode up on top of that concrete barrier and it rolled on its right-hand side, where it came to a rest."
Robert Hare, a witness who helped victims before emergency personnel arrived, told TV station KENS-5 there were "a lot of people hurt, pinned under the bus."
News reports note that the bus company, Cardinal Coach Lines, has not experienced a crash in the past two years. The accident happened on State Highway 161, which is called the President George Bush Turnpike after the 41st president.