Football fans escape injury as pickup hits charter buses

Cameron man charged with DWI after wreck

About 100 La Grange Leopard football fans escaped injury around midnight Saturday when their two charter buses were struck near Cameron by a man who was then arrested for DWI.

Trooper Mark Berry said the charters were one mile south of the US 190/77-Texas 36 “Y” intersection when a pickup driven by 42-year-old Juan Casillas of Cameron crossed the center stripe and hit both buses.

Berr y said the buses were southbound, heading back to La Grange from the Leopards 27-14 semifinal playoff loss to Carthage in Midlothian.

Casillas was northbound.

“The first bus was struck on the side,” Berry said. “The pickup grazed the area where luggage is stored, then went on and hit the second bus, passenger headlights to passenger headlights.”

No serious injuries

Berry listed the bus drivers as 56-year-old Tommie Elder of Houston in the lead vehicle and Gilbert Ramirez, 39, of Baytown in the trailing bus.

No serious injuries were listed and no transports were made by AMR ambulance personnel who responded to the scene.

“Ramirez, driver of the second bus complained of some discomfort and said he would probably go to his doctor once he got home,” Berry said.

The trooper said there were 95 persons aboard the buses including the two drivers.

“These were chartered buses for fans and did not contain any football team members or band members,” Berry said.

Casillas was ar rested and charged with driving while intoxicated. He was released from the in the Milam County Jail after posting $2,500 bond.

“Damages to the first bus were not too bad and it was driven away, back to LaGrange,” Berry said.

The second bus was a different matter. “It wasn’t drivable so the Cameron ISD sent out school buses and transported the passengers to the Yoe High gym. That’s where they stayed until the bus company sent another vehicle to pick them up,” Berry said.

The pickup was totaled, he said.

But the entire incident could have been much worse.

“The next two vehicles, following the buses, were church vans,” Berry said. “If the pickup had hit them instead of those two big charter buses it would sure have been a different story.”

Berry said law enforcement was already in the process of responding to a 911 reckless driving call involving Casillas when the accident occurred.

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