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Hays CISD school cancels classes Monday following fatal bus crash

 An adult and child place balloons in front of a marquee that says, Tom Green Elementary School, along with important school dates. There are also stuffed animals in front of the marquee.
Renee Dominguez
Jamie Breve places balloons at a memorial in front of Tom Green Elementary School in Buda on Saturday.

Tom Green Elementary School has canceled school on Monday, March 25, after a serious bus crash involving their students occurred Friday afternoon.

A school bus was returning from a field trip to a zoo in Bastrop County when a concrete truck driving in the other direction veered into the bus' lane, hitting the front of the bus. The incident killed one adult and one pre-K student, and 53 total patients were evaluated for injuries according to Kevin Parker, division chief with Austin-Travis County EMS.

As of Saturday afternoon, at least three staff members and two students are still in the hospital.

The Hays Consolidated Independent School District said the bus involved in the crash was not equipped with seatbelts. The district began buying buses with seatbelts in 2017, but about 20% of its buses are older and do not have them.

The district will look into funding bus replacements so all Hays CISD buses have seatbelts as soon as possible.

"As we come to terms with this tragedy, it is crucial that we stand together as a community, supporting one another as we navigate through this difficult period," said Principal Jennifer Hanna in a statement Saturday afternoon.

Although regular school will be canceled on Monday, Tom Green Elementary will open its doors for students and staff members seeking counseling services from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Community members left balloons, flowers and stuffed animals around the Tom Green Elementary School marquee on Saturday.

Jessica Sifuentes, member of the school's PTA, changed out the letters on the marquee Saturday afternoon to spell "Hornet Strong."

"I just felt like I needed to try to do something, even if it's just something small," she said.

Sifuentes graduated from Hays CISD herself and her daughter attends the elementary school.

A former Tom Green Elementary teacher, Molly Andrews, launched a GoFundMe fundraiser to help students and staff with expenses related to the crash. The account has already raised over $24,000.

Maya Fawaz is KUT's Hays County reporter. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @mayagfawaz.
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