TRINITY, Texas (AP) — A 7-year-old girl died Thursday after a school van that had stopped to pick up children was rear-ended by a truck on a rural East Texas highway, officials said, and 10 students and the van driver were injured.
The Trinity County Sheriff’s Office identified the child on its Facebook page as Journey Magness, daughter of Deputy David Magness.
Authorities in Trinity County, which is about 75 miles north of Houston, believe the uninjured 17-year-old driver of the pickup truck was temporarily blinded by the sun as her truck came over a hill, crashing into the stopped van at about 7:30 a.m.
“The best as we can tell, the sun is going to play a big, major role in this,” Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace said.
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The 7-year-old girl was riding in the van and died at a hospital.
Ten children from the van and the pickup truck — ages 5 to 15 years old — were taken to a hospital, along with the van driver, East Texas Medical Center spokeswoman Rebecca Berkley said. All were treated and released by Thursday afternoon, Berkley said.
A statement Thursday on the Trinity ISD website said the safety of students and staff is the highest priority and the student who died was being mourned.
The accident comes nearly two weeks after six children died and several were injured in Chattanooga, Tennessee, when their school bus crashed on a curvy road. The bus driver faces vehicular homicide charges.