The Latest: Highway to be closed for bus crash investigation

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Posted: May 16, 2016 9:44 PM
The Latest: Highway to be closed for bus crash investigation

LAREDO, Texas (AP) — The Latest on a deadly charter bus crash north of Laredo, Texas (all times local):

8:45 p.m.

A heavily traveled South Texas highway will be closed Tuesday for the investigation of a weekend bus crash that killed eight passengers and injured 44.

In a posting on its Laredo District Twitter account, the Texas Department of Transportation said it will close U.S. 83 at 9 a.m. Tuesday for the crash investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Northbound traffic will be diverted to Texas 44 and southbound traffic will detour to Farm-to-Market Road 133.

Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board also will continue combing the wreckage of the OGA Charters bus that crashed while carrying passengers from the Lower Rio Grande Valley to a casino in Eagle Pass, Texas.

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7 p.m.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators plan to analyze an electronic device aboard a charter bus to determine if it contains data that can provide details on a deadly crash.

NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway says investigators don't know what they'll find, but hope for data on speed and steering-wheel positioning. The OGA Charters bus crashed Saturday north of Laredo, killing eight people and injuring 44.

No other vehicles were involved.

Investigators will also continue examining the bus wreckage for evidence, and Holloway says they hope to interview the driver and other survivors of the crash this week.

Sgt. Johnny Hernandez of the Texas Department of Public Safety says the crash site on heavily traveled U.S. 83 will be closed at some point as part of the investigation.

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6:15 p.m.

Officials investigating a deadly charter bus crash on a rain-slicked South Texas highway say only the first row of seats were equipped with seat belts.

Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Johnny Hernandez said Monday the remaining rows had no lap belts.

The OGA Charters bus crashed Saturday north of Laredo, killing eight people and injuring 44. It was en route to a casino in Eagle Pass, about 125 miles northwest of Laredo. No other vehicles were involved.

Hernandez says the 29-year-old bus driver, Porfirio Aguirre Vasquez of Pharr, was injured in the crash, but later released from a hospital. Officials would not comment on what, if anything, they have discussed with the driver.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway said the agency, among other things, is trying to determine how the bus company and its vehicles operate.

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1 a.m.

Federal investigators and local authorities are working to determine what caused a charter bus to crash in far South Texas, killing eight people and injuring 44 others in a one-vehicle rollover.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived Sunday in Laredo and will continue their work Monday. Spokesman Keith Holloway says the agency will look at the operations of the charter bus company as part of its investigation and has requested inspection and maintenance records.

A Texas state trooper said Sunday that the state Department of Public Safety is conducting an investigation separate from the NTSB.

Sgt. Johnny Hernandez says the bus driver remains hospitalized with major injuries and has not been interviewed by police.

The bus crashed Saturday north of Laredo.