Tyler Police have identified two people who died in a fatal wreck involving a car and a tour bus carrying Brook Hill students.
They are (driver) Jeffrey Dalton Aynesworth, 22, of Rusk and (passenger) Payton Joseph Raymond, 24 of Flint.
No students were killed, though several minor injuries were reported.
Autopsies have been ordered on the deceased.
The accident happened Sunday morning around 4 a.m. on toll 49 near the highway 69 exit.
According to the preliminary crash report, the bus traveling westbound on Loop 49 was loaded with 32 occupants: 1 driver, 6 adults, and 25 students who were from Brookhill School returning from Orlando Florida. A Chevy Z-71 Pick-up was traveling eastbound on Loop 49 and was occupied by two adult males who died in the crash. Five people on the bus, including the driver, two adults and two students, were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.
Witness accounts indicate that the pickup traveled into the westbound lane and struck the bus front left, forcing off the roadway.
Parents arrived on scene of the crash to pick-up their loved ones.
The names of the two deceased will be released when next of kin has been notified.
Investigators are working with ECHO Bus Company officials to retrieve the video footage from the front windshield of the bus as the investigation continues.
In a post on Facebook, Brook Hill said:
“Early this morning there was a serious accident involving one of our SPARC groups returning from Orlando, Florida. No students, faculty or chaperones sustained life threatening injuries, however several students and adults sustained minor injuries. Coach Jordan Price is in the hospital under observation for a concussion along with the bus driver. The incident occurred on Loop 49 near HWY 69 at about 4:00 am.
We are very thankful for God’s protection and ask that you be in prayer for all involved, including the bus driver who did an amazing job controlling the bus and protecting our students and faculty.
We also ask that you be in prayer for the families of the passengers in the other vehicle who did not survive the crash.”
In a message to families, Brook Hill Head of School Rod Fletcher said:
“Moments like this remind us how precious life is. We are thankful that our students, faculty and families are able to return to their loved ones without any life-threatening injuries. At the same time, we are deeply saddened over the lives lost in the accident this morning. Our entire Brook Hill community remains in prayer for their friends and families during this time of grief. We are grateful for the love and prayers from our Brook Hill family and the East Texas community for all those affected by the accident.”