Agency: Damaged guardrail could have caused prison bus wreck

AP News
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Posted: Jan 29, 2015 4:58 PM

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — A preliminary report on a West Texas prison bus accident that killed two prison guards and eight inmates says the bus likely hit a piece of displaced highway guardrail before it veered onto the median, went down an embankment and struck a passing freight train.

The National Transportation Safety Board report released Thursday states that a 225-foot section of metal guardrail was damaged in an accident the day before the bus crash. Investigators placed traffic cones in the area.

The report says that two of three other accidents caused by icy road conditions on Interstate 20 on the day of the bus crash could have displaced the guardrail and pushed it into the path of the bus. The accident happened Jan. 14 in Penwell, just west of Odessa.