7-Year-Old Dead, 11 Hurt After Texas School Van Rear-Ended

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
December 1, 2016 Updated: December 1, 2016

TRINITY, Texas—A 7-year-old girl died Thursday after a school van that had stopped to pick up children was rear-ended by a truck on a rural East Texas highway, officials said, and 10 students and the van driver were injured.

Authorities in Trinity County, which is about 75 miles north of Houston, believe the 17-year-old driver of the pickup truck was temporarily blinded by the sun as the truck came over a hill, crashing into the stopped van at about 7:30 a.m.

“The best as we can tell, the sun is going to play a big, major role in this,” Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace said.

The accident comes nearly two weeks after six children died and several were injured in Chattanooga, Tennessee, when their school bus crashed on a curvy road. The bus driver faces vehicular homicide charges.

The 7-year-old girl was riding in the van and died at a hospital. Wallace said she is the daughter of a sheriff’s deputy.

Ten students from the van and the pickup truck were taken to a hospital, as was the driver of the van, East Texas Medical Center spokeswoman Rebecca Berkley said. Three of the 10 students were treated and released, she said, and the rest are in fair condition.

A message left with the Trinity Independent School District was not immediately returned Thursday.