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Concrete Truck Driver Admits to Using Drugs Prior to School Bus Crash That Killed 5-Year-Old Boy, SUV Driver: Cops

Concrete Truck Driver's Drug Use Linked to Fatal School Bus Crash: Cops
Source: Hays County Jail; Hays Consolidated Independent School District

Jerry Hernandez took cocaine and smoked marijuana before the crash and was driving on only 3 hours of sleep, officials said.

Apr. 3 2024, Published 4:03 p.m. ET

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A concrete truck driver in Texas was involved in a crash with a school bus that resulted in the death of two people, including a 5-year-old boy — and now police allege he took cocaine and smoked marijuana in the hours before the incident.

Around 2 p.m. on March 22, Jerry Hernandez, 42, was behind the wheel of the concrete truck when it drifted over the centerline and hit a bus head on along a rural road outside of Austin, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by KEYE.

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The bus flipped several times before coming to a stop. Officials said the driver of an SUV, 33-year-old Ryan Wallace, was killed in the crash.

The arrest affidavit claims Hernandez allegedly admitted to police that he had smoked marijuana around 10 p.m. the day before the incident and took cocaine around 1 a.m. on the day of the crash. He also told police he only had about three hours of sleep.

Authorities said Hernandez claimed that an SUV about two lengths in front of him suddenly braked, causing him to swerve.

However, video footage from the bus dash cam showed there were no cars in front of him.

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The school bus for the Hays Consolidated Independent School District was carrying more than 40 pre-K students and 10 adults that were all returning from a field trip to the Capital of Texas Zoo. The bus did not have seat belts available for any of the passengers aboard.

Several of the children on the bus suffered serious injuries. Ulises Rodriguez Montoya, 5, died during the crash.

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Hernandez was recently arrested and booked into the Bastrop County Jail. He was charged with criminally negligent homicide, officials said.

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